The Swift Current Indians’ top two offensive threats in 2011 are returning to the club in 2012.
Outfielder Brennan Peterson (Central Butte, Sask.) and catcher Kirk Haviland (Merritt, B.C./University of Wisconsin-Parkside) will be back in the lineup for their fifth and third seasons, respectively.
Peterson was a second-team WMBL all-star in 2011 leading the Indians with 44 hits, 30 runs scored, 13 stolen bases, and a .429 on-base percentage. Haviland was also a second-team league all-star, leading the Indians with six home runs in 2011 while finishing second in RBI (20) and slugging percentage (.458).
"Brennan will be a key component of our team this season," said Indians coach Joe Carnahan. "He is an exciting player and will be a difference maker in our lineup.
"Kirk plays the game hard and has the toughness you like to see from a catcher. We have quite a few left handed hitters this season so it will be very important to our success that we have a right handed hitter with some pop like Kirk in the line up."
A third second-team league all-star – outfielder Luke Barry (Swift Current, Sask./Prairie Baseball Academy) – will also rejoin the Indians, after being named the club’s rookie of the year in 2011, along with infielder Jack Thompson (Coquitlam, B.C./Northern State University), who was named the team’s most improved player last year in his second season with the Tribe.Shawn Mullin interviews Joe Carnahan:
The Indians will have five pitchers with WMBL experience on their roster in 2012, headlined by San Francisco Giants draft pick Adam Paulencu and local products Taylor MacDonnell and Reiley Grose.
MacDonnell (Swift Current, Sask./Wayne State) is the elder statesman of the all-righty group, entering his fourth season with the Indians. Paulencu (Sherwood Park, Alta./Embry-Riddle) is entering his third year with the Tribe, while Grose (Wymark, Sask./Vancouver Island Baseball Institute), Myles Ethier (Grande Prairie, Alta.), and Alex Tufts (Kentville, N.S./Canisius College) are back for a second season.
Paulencu didn’t appear for the Tribe in 2011, after being drafted by the Giants, but threw 20 regular-season and playoff innings without allowing an earned run in 2010, and is 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 58.2 innings pitched for Embry-Riddle this year.
“Adam is an outstanding pitcher with electric stuff,” said Indians head coach Joe Carnahan. “Adam can start and close with equal effectiveness and he will have the opportunity to pitch in some big games for us this summer.”
MacDonnell reduced his WHIP from 1.85 in 2010 to 1.27 in 2011 and has a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings of relief work at Wayne State this year. Grose pitched just 10 innings for the Indians in 2011, though the team’s record was 5-1 in games he appeared in, and has a 2.41 ERA this year in 20.1 innings pitched for VIBI.
“Taylor is a competitor who challenges hitters, and throughout his time with the club has been very consistent as both a reliever and a starter,” said Carnahan. “Reiley improved a great deal last summer and we will be counting on him to get some big outs in key situations this year.”
Ethier is a graduate of VIBI while Tufts is entering his senior year with Canisius.
“Last year Myles won the Teammate of the Year Award and that speaks volumes about the quality person he is,” said Carnahan. “Myles is a much needed experienced pitcher for our young staff.
“Alex worked through some early-season mechanical kinks last year and ended up being our best starter down the stretch. Alex pounds the zone and loves to compete. We will be looking for Alex to provide us with quality starts and put us in a position to win each time he takes the mound.”INDIANS SEEKING BILLETS FOR 2012 SEASON
The Swift Current Indians are in need of billets for the 2012 Western Major Baseball League season.
Housing a player (or players) for the summer is a low-commitment way to support the club. Billets are compensated for their assistance and are encouraged to make their player(s) feel at home, but are not obligated to cook, do laundry, or provide transportation for their player(s) throughout the summer. Billets are expected to ensure adequate food, sleeping arrangements, and privacy for their player(s).
Players typically arrive the last week in May and return home by the middle of August.
“Many billets and players form long-lasting relationships that extend beyond the player’s time with the Indians, and it’s typically a very positive experience for everyone involved,” said Indians billet coordinator Laurie Girardeau. “Our billets are a critical part of the Indians’ success and we’re truly grateful for all of their contributions.”
For more information on becoming a billet in 2012, call Girardeau at 741-6773 or visit www.scindians.ca.