Familiar Arms Return to X's Pen
Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signings of RHP Joe Riley and RHP Ryan Flores.
The 2021 season will mark Riley's second season in pro ball and with Sioux City.
Riley made his professional debut with the X's on August 24, 2019 against the Kansas City T-Bones. He appeared in three total games that season tossing four innings of shutout baseball, striking out two in the process.
He threw a few innings in the 2019 postseason. In the South Division Championship Series. In game one against Kansas City he tossed two innings striking out three batters. He also recorded a scoreless inning in game one of the American Association Finals against St. Paul.
Prior to the X's the 6'1, 185 pound right hander played collegiately at Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho. In 2019, his senior season, he was the Warriors primary closer, collecting five saves over 15 appearances. He had a 2.55 ERA over 17.1 innings where he struck out 19 batters and was a part of their NAIA World Series team. In his two seasons at Lewis-Clark State Riley collected 10 saves and 41 strikeouts in 31 games.
Before Lewis-Clark State, Riley had shown he was a more than capable bullpen arm at Reedley College in California. There the Alameda native notched 14 saves to earn All-State Reliever honors. He struck out 26 batters over 27.2 innings of work with a 3.25 ERA to also earn First-Team All League and First-Team All-Central Valley Conference honors.
Riley did not play during the 2020 season.
The 2021 season marks Flores' fifth season in professional baseball and his fourth with the Sioux City Explorers.
Flores has become a household name to X's fans when he comes out of the bullpen. Armed with his trademark frisbee slider he has also become well known to opponents around the league.
The only season that Ryan Flores has not donned a Sioux City Explorers uniform was the year in which the X's didn't play. He was selected by the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the 8th round of the American Association dispersal draft and appeared in three games for the fish. He was released and picked up by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks finishing out the 2020 season with them. Appearing in 16 games with a 4.50 ERA he struck out 34 batters in 26 innings of work.
In 2019 Flores began the year with the Sioux Falls Canaries, after a couple of transactions he found himself back in an Explorers uniform. Between the two I-29 rivals Flores appeared in 36 games with a 3-3 record and a 5.56 ERA. He struck out 53 batters in 42.1 innings of work.
Flores' best season with the X's to date came during the 2018 campaign. He set a career high in games with 46 while also setting an impressive career low ERA of 2.63. He struck out 70 batters in 61.2 innings, compiling a WHIP of 1.135.
Over his three season career in Sioux City, Flores has appeared in the fourth most games in franchise history (117) and sits in ninth place for most strikeouts (205). Over his 174 innings of work he has an ERA of 3.77.
His first season with the X's in 2017 the right hander led the team with 44 appearances and 93 strikeouts, which is the 20th highest total in a single season for an Explorer.
Prior to joining the Explorers, the now 26 year old pitched collegiately at Richland College in Dallas, TX. In 2016, Flores also played for the Savannah Bananas in the Coastal Plain League (collegiate summer baseball league) where he impressed going 4-0 with 3 saves and a 2.21 ERA. In 36.2 innings pitched, Flores allowed only 29 hits while striking out 42 batters. Flores also played in the fall of 2016 in the new Desert League for the Yuma Hammers where the righty held a 2.69 ERA in 20 innings pitched, accumulating 16 strikeouts.
The Explorers also announce that the Cincinnati Reds have purchased the contract of RHP Karsen Lindell.
Lindell, a 2015 ninth round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers signed with the X's on January 20th, 2021. The 24 year old has appeared in 53 games over his minor league career notching 142 strikeouts in 106.2 innings of work.
With the Reds acquiring Lindell, that now makes it 24 Sioux City Explorers who have had their contracts purchased by a major league organization since the completion of the 2015 season.
With the signings of RHP Joe Riley and RHP Ryan Flores the Explorers have now signed 14 players to a 2021 contract (9 pitchers, 5 position players)
RHP Nick Belzer
RHP Ryan Flores
RHP Nate Gercken
RHP Danny Hrbek
RHP Max Kuhns
LHP Jairo Labourt
LHP Patrick Ledet
RHP Joe Riley
RHP Carlos Sierra
C Justin Felix
INF Josh Allen
OF Chase Harris
OF Eury Perez
OF Sebastian Zawada
The Sioux City Explorers 29th year in Siouxland will begin at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 18th versus the Houston Apollos.
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Sioux City Explorers RHP Ryan Flores
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American Association Stories from February 11, 2021
- Saltdogs Re-Sign Curt Smith for Eighth Season - Lincoln Saltdogs
- Familiar Arms Return to X's Pen - Sioux City Explorers
- Goldeyes Add Pair of Promising Right-Handers - Winnipeg Goldeyes
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