WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced Monday the signing of Canadian right-handed pitcher Chris Kissock to a contract for the 2013 season.
Kissock, 27, has played his first six seasons of professional baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and spent parts of the last three seasons at Double-A Reading of the Eastern League. A product of Trail, B.C., Kissock was hampered by a rib injury last year and went 3-1 with an 8.76 ERA in 16 games between Reading and Advanced-A Clearwater of the Florida State League.
"He's going to add a lot of experience," Forney said. "We're going to use him out of the bullpen and maybe even give him the opportunity to be our closer.
"Once pitchers get to a certain age and plateau out at the Double-A level, most organizations feel their last ditch effort of trying to get someone over the hump to becoming a Major League pitcher is to change their arm slot and become a situational type guy. That didn't work with Chris. He wasn't able to stay consistent and wound up getting hurt because of it. He's back to his normal arm slot, his velocity is back and he's feeling good. He's anxious to get back on the mound and try to recapture what he did back in 2010."
Last summer was the first time Kissock posted an ERA higher than five in his career. He had a career year in 2010 when he had a combined 2.68 ERA in 47 appearances with Clearwater and Reading. In 2011 he tossed a career-high 102.2 innings. He was selected by the Phillies in the ninth round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and moved up a level in each of his first four seasons in their organization.
Kissock appeared in the prestigious Arizona Fall League with the best prospects in baseball in 2010. He went 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA and a save in 10 games with the Mesa Solar Sox.
In addition to his time with the Phillies, Kissock has represented Canada on the world stage numerous times. He won a gold medal for Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the 2011 Baseball World Cup. He also pitched for Canada in the 2012 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament last fall in Germany, earning a save after a scoreless outing in his only appearance.
The Goldeyes now have 14 players signed for the 2013 season, including nine pitchers and five position players.