June 15, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – On Monday the Rockford RiverHawks re-signed one of the most effective pitchers in team history, Tanner Watson. At the same time, infielder Robbie Knapp was released.
Watson was a standout performer as a RiverHawks pitcher for three seasons (2005-2007). He set the RiverHawks’ career record for wins with 23, which Garrett Bauer tied in 2008. Watson also won 11 games in 2007, setting the single-season record for most wins as a RiverHawks pitcher. In 2007, Watson was a Baseball America magazine’s all-independent league first team selection.
Watson spent 2008 as a member of the Cubs’ Class AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. He started 10 games and was 1-3 overall with an ERA of 5.65. In the latter part of the 2008 season Watson pitched for the now-defunct Ottawa Rapidz of the independent Can-Am league. He was 3-7 in 17 appearances with a 5.24 ERA. Watson struck out 48 batters and had one complete game. Watson was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2000.
Watson is scheduled to make his first start of the year Tuesday against the Evansville Otters.
Robbie Knapp batted .267 in 20 games with RiverHawks in 2009. He led the team with four home runs and also had nine RBI.
The Rockford RiverHawks are the most highly attended minor-league baseball team in the Stateline. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league playing its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks are in their eighth season and will host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks at