Sioux Falls Canaries manager Steve Shirley announced the return of closer Alan DeRatt along with catcher Kevin Dultz for the 2014 season.
DeRatt, 28, notched 22 saves in 2013, fourth most in the American Association and fourth most in a single season in team history. His 27 career saves in Sioux Falls ties him with Matt Montgomery for third highest, behind Aaron Cotter (47) and Kris Regas (46).
“Alan pitched very well for us last year and showed himself as one of the best closers in the league,” Shirley said. “We’re excited to have him back for another season.”
DeRatt went 0-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 2013. He struck out 39 batters in 39 1/3 innings against just six walks. The right-hander from Asheville, N.C., came to the Canaries in 2012 after four years in the Colorado Rockies system. He began 2012 as a starter before moving to the closing role midway through the year. Overall, DeRatt has a 4-10 mark with a 4.76 ERA in 67 appearances with the Birds.
Dultz, 25, proved to be a valuable rookie in the Canaries 2013 lineup. Initially released out of spring training last season, he re-joined the club in late May and provided solid production, batting .256 with two home runs, 14 extra-base hits and 14 RBI. He had the second-best batting average on the team in July (.333).
Dultz played briefly in 2012 with the short-season rookie affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Missoula Osprey. The Pasedena, Calif., native signed with the D-backs as a non-drafted free agent out of San Francisco State University.
The Canaries’ 2014 campaign follows their highest attended season ever. It will be their 22nd season and ninth as members of the independent American Association. For more information about business partnerships or season tickets in 2014, call the Canaries at (605) 336-6060.
Courtesy: Scott S. Beatty, Broadcaster / Media Relations, Sioux Falls Canaries