RiverHawks add Gutierrez; Marcum to return
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January 26, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks announced Monday they have signed former San Francisco farmhand Henry Gutierrez and picked up the 2009 option on pitcher Kyffin Marcum.

The Giants drafted Gutierrez, a catcher, out of Troy University in the 11th round in 2005. He missed last season because of an arm injury suffered during spring training. RiverHawks director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said the Giants gave Gutierrez the option to go to extended spring training for rehabilitation, but that the catcher opted to return to his alma mater to earn a master’s degree and take a role as a graduate assistant on the Trojans’ coaching staff.

“He got healthy in the interim,” Ciarrachi said.

In three years with three different San Francisco affiliates, Gutierrez hit a composite .265 with eight home runs and 64 RBI over 154 games. His reputation is primarily as a defensive catcher – in his most recent season, 2007 with Class A Augusta in the South Atlantic League, Gutierrez had a .991 fielding percentage in 62 games, with four errors and 11 passed balls. He threw out 17 of 65 (26 percent) attempted basestealers.

Gutierrez, who turns 26 in May, has 1-Year status in the Frontier League.

Marcum (above) broke into pro ball last year with Rockford. He was 6-1 with a 4.78 earned-run average and a save in 29 relief appearances. He tied Justin Olson’s five-year-old team record for most relief wins in a season. He struck out 33 and walked just 14 in 32 innings.

“Marcum is a great situational right-hander,” Ciarrachi said. Marcum is working this winter with former major-leaguer Mark Eichhorn to develop a better changeup for use against left-handed hitters. “If he can develop a good changeup to go with his slider against righties, he could be used in all capacities.”

Marcum, 25, has Rookie-2 status in the Frontier League.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks will begin their eighth season at 7:05 p.m. May 21 at Windy City and play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. May 26 against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The RiverHawks host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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