September 6, 2017 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Battle Creek Bombers
Sioux Falls, SD - The Sioux Falls Canaries wrapped up the 2017 American Association regular season with a 4-2 loss to the Sioux City Explorers on Sept. 4 to finish the year 45-55.
In the first season under Mike Meyer, the Canaries finished five wins better than their 2016 campaign and posted their best record since 2012.
The Canaries offense finished second in the league in stolen bases (132), walks (383) and hit-by-pitches (73), third in the league in home runs (103), fourth in the league in triples (22) and runs scored (509) and fifth in the league in RBI (454), on-base percentage (.343), slugging percentage (.407) and total bases (1397).
Individually, Burt Reynolds and Jabari Henry were among the top hitters in the league. Henry's 29 home runs led the American Association and tied former Canary Tim Pahuta (2013) for the Birds' single-season home run record. Reynolds was eighth in the league with his 24 doubles and his 34 stolen bases were tied for fifth in the American Association.
"I felt like, lineup-wise, we built the type of lineup we want to have in Sioux Falls," Meyer said, "We were right where we wanted to be offensively."
"I do think we have to improve on our situational hitting though," Meyer said.
The Canaries also finished fifth in the league in runners left on base (753) and tied for third in the league in errors (101). The Canaries also led the league with 871 strikeouts, breaking the Association's single season record set by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in 2016.
"Lineup-wise, I feel like we were missing just one piece," Meyer said, "One more left-handed power hitter to balance the right-hand dominance in the lineup. Someone to lengthen out the lineup out so there's not an easy stretch."
On the mound, the Canaries pitch staff finished tied for third in complete games (7) and tied for fifth in shutouts (2).
Individually, Grady Wood was among the best pitchers in the league, with a 2.71 ERA that ranked third in the American Association, while his 117 strikeouts were good enough for fifth overall.
But, the Birds also finished twelfth in the league in hits allowed (969) and doubles allowed (192), eleventh in the league in opponent batting average (.279) and ninth in the league in ERA (4.49) and runs allowed (499). Pitching will be a priority for the Canaries in the offseason as they look to improve their rotation and bullpen heading into the 2018 season.
"I think one of the things we weren't great at was our pitching staff," Meyer said, "There were times where our pitching staff was giving us quality starts, pounding the bottom of the zone. And then there were times where they were all doing their own thing."
Heading into the offseason, "we want to make sure our rotation is really sound," Meyer said, "In my opinion, the starting rotation is most important position on the field."
And as for the Canaries' bullpen, Meyer said he was pleased with the talent, but not the end results, a plus-4.00 ERA. "We really had to use our bullpen heavily because of our rotation, that took a heavy toll on our bullpen," Meyer said, leading to some inconsistencies.
"All in all, I was really pleased with the level of talent of our bullpen, and we just have to change the culture, change the mindset with the type of guys down there, and the guys we bring back," Meyer said.
"We've got a lot of legit players we want to bring back," Meyer said, "And moving forward we really want to shore up our rotation, we want to make sure we have 6-7 guys that can give us 6-7 quality innings on a nightly basis."
The Canaries are hoping to build on the success of 2017 as they prepare for their second season under Meyer in 2018. For information regarding season ticket options for the 2018 season or sponsorship opportunities, please contact the canaries ticket office at 605-336-6060 or visit the Canaries' website at sfcanaries.com
*Photo Credit: The Northern Battery* -- Ari Ross Broadcast/Media Relations Assistant Sioux Falls Canaries @aross50 arijross.com (216) 310-8384
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2017 Sioux Falls Canaries: Season in Review