December 7, 2006 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - On the final day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners shook hands on the way out of town after completing a trade which sends former Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher Horacio Ramirez to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed reliever Rafael Soriano.
Ramirez, a 5th round draft pick of the Braves in 1997, helped the Pelicans pitch their way to a Carolina League Championship in 2000. During the Championship season Ramirez produced one of the most spectacular single-season efforts in Pelicans franchise history. In 26 starts and one relief appearances he tossed his way to a 15-8 record to go along with a 3.22 ERA. His 15 wins in 2000 still rank as the 2nd most victories in one year for a Pelicans pitcher, two behind his teammate, Christian Parra, who hung 17 W\'s in the books that same year.
In 2003 Ramirez made his Major League debut with the Braves and burst onto the scene with a remarkable 12-4 record in 29 starts as a rookie. After a dazzling first year in the "bigs" injuries would limit the strong-throwing lefty to just nine outings in his "sophomore" campaign. He bounced back in 2005, going 11-9 in 32 starts for the NL East champs, but 2006 would not be as kind. Another injury-slowed season watched Ramirez post a 5-5 mark with a 4.48 ERA in 14 appearances on the hill, bringing his career total to 30-22 with a 4.13 ERA through his first four seasons in the Major Leagues.
Soriano joins the Braves bullpen after tossing to a 1-2 record and a 2.25 ERA in 53 appearances in 2006 with the Mariners. The 26, soon to be 27-year-old (on December 19th), right-hander out of the Dominican Republic has appeared in 116 games and has logged a 4-8 record with a combined 2.89 ERA during his five-year stint with Seattle.
BEST OF LUCK TO THE FORMER BIRDS - Thebravesshow.com has reported that the following former Myrtle Beach Pelicans have been released by the Atlanta Braves...LHP - Devin Anderson, RHP - Marcus Covington, RHP - Rudy Quinonez, RHP - Pedro Rayo, RHP - Ralph Roberts, OF - Ovandy Suero, RHP - Glenn Tucker.
FOLLOWING DAYTON TO K.C. - Three former Pelicans and one would-be future Pelican have flown the coop, so to speak, and have followed the former Atlanta Braves Director of Player Development / Assistant GM - now current GM of the Kansas City Royals, Dayton Moore. RHP Arthur Santos, RHP Matt Wright, OF Onil Joseph, and C Cody Clark have signed with the Royals. Just this afternoon former Pelicans 2B Richard Lewis was picked up by Moore\'s Royals in the Rule 5 Draft after spending the last three years in the Chicago Cubs system.
SPEAKING OF THE RULE 5 DRAFT - Former Pelicans pitcher RHP Sean White was drafted 4th overall in the Rule 5 Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. White will now join the Pirates Major League roster and must be kept in the major leagues for the duration of the 2007 season or be offered back to the Braves for half of what the Pirates paid ($50,000) for the selection.
The Pelicans are preparing for their first full season under the new ownership group led by Greenberg. In addition to serving as the President & Managing Partner of Myrtle Beach Pelicans LP, Greenberg holds the same title for the successful Altoona Curve (AA/Pittsburgh Pirates) and State College Spikes (A/Pittsburgh Pirates) franchises in Central Pennsylvania. Recently the Altoona Curve was the recipient of the John H. Johnson President\'s Trophy which is annually awarded to the top franchise in all of Minor League Baseball. The announcement of the Curve winning the 2006 John H. Johnson President\'s Trophy means that the franchise has won the three most significant awards that an affiliated minor league baseball club can receive--the President\'s Trophy, the Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy and Baseball America\'s Bob Freitas Award--within just two years. Earlier this month Baseball America awarded the Curve a Freitas Award as the top Double-A franchise for the 2006 season.
Opening Day 2007 is scheduled for Thursday, April 5th when the Pelicans play host to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (A/Kansas City Royals) at 7:05 pm. For ticket information please call 843-918-6000 or visit the Pelicans official website at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.