The Winnipeg Goldeyes roster is continuing to shape up for the season, as two players retired from professional baseball on Tuesday while two more signed up.
On their way out are pitchers Mark Hardy and Patrick Keating, who are both retiring from professional ball. Keating delivered a solid showing as the Goldeyes' closer last season, while Canadian Hardy went 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 starts before battling injuries.
So while manager Rick Forney will hunt for new pitchers to battle for those spots, he does have two other pieces signed up: On Tuesday, the Fish announced the return of rookie catcher Jordan Guida and the signing of right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia. Guida, 25, was with the Fish last year, though he only took 38 at-bats, where he hit .184 with an RBI. Since he didn't step up to the plate much, he retains his rookie classification.
He will get another chance to impress when training camp opens this spring. "He's a really good rookie," Forney said in a statement. "Unfortunately the way our roster evolved last year, we didn't get him nearly enough playing time as I would have liked. He has the ability to be a really good catcher. He has good hands, a really strong throwing arm, good feet behind the plate and really does a good job of calling games."
Garcia, 22, is a brand-new acquisition. He played most of last season as a rookie in the Houston Astros organization, going 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA in 16 appearances in the Appalachian League. Forney was sold on the rookie by an agent and will look to see if Garcia can find a spot in the Goldeyes bullpen. "We're looking for some younger guys to help fill out our pitching staff," Forney said. "We're hopeful he can come in and solidify a spot on the team."