RiverHawks sign control pitcher
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February 4, 2010 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks are rebuilding their pitching staff for their first Northern League season around one central tenet – throw strikes.

The latest control specialist signed by the team is left-hander Roger Lincoln. The RiverHawks announced the signing of the 29-year-old former Cleveland farmhand on Thursday. Lincoln has a career 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has surrendered a walk roughly every four innings over his six-year professional career.

RiverHawks co-owner and director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said the pitchers, both starters and relievers, who will report for spring training in May have tended to issue few walks.

“(They) are all in that mode, so if we get beat, it won’t because of somebody throwing ball four,” Ciarrachi said.

Lincoln has never walked more than 28 in a season. Last year, Lincoln was 6-7 with a career-high 5.14 earned-run average for the Sussex Skyhawks of the independent Can-Am League, but he allowed just 22 walks and struck out 56 over 98 innings.

Lincoln, a former Stetson University pitcher, was the Indians’ 34th-round pick in the 2003 draft. He spent two years with their short-season Class A Mahoning Valley affiliate in the New York-Penn League and also spent time with Boston’s low A affiliate at Greeneville in the Southern Atlantic League. Lincoln missed the 2007 season because of Tommy John surgery.

“I think he made a recovery, and I expect him to be a part of our rotation,” Ciarrachi said.

Lincoln has a career record of 27-20 and a 3.87 ERA. He has struck out 327 and walked 103 over 414 1/3 innings.

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 18th season in 2010. The RiverHawks’ ninth season begins at 7:05 p.m. May 20 against the Schaumburg Flyers at Road Ranger Stadium. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380 (WTJK-AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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