01/28/2005 7:48 AM - KANSAS CITY The Kansas City T-Bones continued to solidify their pitching staff, signing three pitchers to 2005 contracts, the team announced Wednesday. Returning to Kansas City are righty reliever David Viane and lefthander Ryan Hader, and joining the T-Bones for his first season will be lefty reliever John Ortiz.
David Viane was the first to join the T-Bones in 2004, signing with the T-Bones on July 14th while the team was in Sioux Falls. Originally a 20th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 2002 draft, Viane was in the Mariners system for two and a half seasons before being released, advancing as high as Class A.
In three seasons of professional baseball, Viane has amassed a 6-10 record with a 4.24 ERA in 91 appearances. However, Viane spent the bulk of his college career as a catcher and outfielder with Bowling Green University and Oakland University, eventually getting drafted as a result of a 90-plus mile per hour fastball. Viane will pitch in relief for the T-Bones and will fill in behind the plate as well.
Kansas City native Ryan Hader joined the T-Bones in late July, appearing in eleven games for the T-Bones. In 16.1 IP, Hader struck out twenty and held opponents to a .203 average; however, he also walked seventeen batters. 2004 was Haders third professional season after being a 44th round draft pick of the Twins in 2001 out of Maple Woods JC, and in two seasons in the Twins organization the 6-foot-3 lefty held opponents to a .184 average.
The newcomer, John Ortiz, did not pitch professionally in 2004. Ortiz was originally a 34th round draft pick of the Houston Astros in 1999 out of New Mexico, but was released after one season and spent the next four seasons with independent teams. Ortiz best season was 2001 with the Chico Heat of the Western League, when he was 0-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 42 games (37.2 IP).
Hader and Viane are a couple of guys we set our sights on for 2005, said T-Bones manager Dirty Al Gallagher. Haders got a terrific arm and will probably start for us in 2005 and Viane will see some time behind the plate. Ortiz came on the recommendation of pitching coach Greg Bicknell and he should be a great situational lefty out of the bullpen.
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