Thunder Add Whelan, Jackson; Send Smith To Tampa
(Trenton, NJ)- The Trenton Thunder, Class AA Affiliate of the N.Y. Yankees, announced today that RHP Kevin Whelan has been promoted from Tampa (High-A) to Trenton, and RHP Steven Jackson has been transferred from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to Trenton. RHP Brett Smith was from Trenton to Tampa to make room for both Whelan and Jackson.
Whelan started the season with Trenton and compiled a 3-0 record and a 2.90 ERA in 18 relief appearances, including four saves. He struck out 40 and walked 25 in 31.0 IP for the Thunder. Whelan was transferred to Tampa on June 11th. Pitching for the Tampa Yankees, he had a 2-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in seven starts. He also combined with two Tampa relievers to pitch a no-hitter on July 18th against Jupiter as he tossed five shutout innings.
Whelan, the 9th ranked prospect in the Yankees Minor League System according to Baseball America, was acquired along with RHP Humberto Sanchez and RHP Anthony Claggett from the Detroit Tigers last November for Gary Sheffield. In 2006, Whelan went 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 51 games, including 27 saves for Lakeland in the Florida State League. He finished third in the Florida State League in saves. He was originally selected by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 2005 draft from Texas A&M.
Jackson notched a 4-8 record with a 5.87 ERA in 18 games, including 11 starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 69.0 IP, he struck out 50 and walked 29, but also allowed 93 hits. Jackson was acquired by the Yankees in the off-season from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with RHP Ross Ohlendorf and SS Alberto Gonzalez in exchange for LHP Randy Johnson. During 2006, he had an 8-11 record with a 2.65 ERA in 24 starts for Tennessee (Double-A) in the Southern League. He finished second in the Southern League in ERA and held RHB to a .204 BA. Jackson was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 10th round of the 2004 draft from Clemson University.
Smith had a 7-4 record for Trenton in 17 games, including 16 starts, with a 2.97 ERA. He was sixth in the Eastern League in ERA. In 91.0 IP, Smith struck out 80 and walked 47. He tossed the first no-hitter by a Thunder pitcher in the history of Waterfont Park on July 4th. In the rain-shortened game against Altoona, Smith went five innings and struck out five while walking seven. He was also the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending May 6th. Last year Smith had a 8-9 record with a 3.81 ERA for Tampa in 28 games, including 26 starts. Smith was originally selected by the Yankees in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft from the University of California-Irvine
Trenton starts a three-game series tonight at Waterfront Park with the Erie Sea Wolves, the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jason Jones (8-4, 2.45) starts for the Thunder against LHP Jon Connolly (4-4, 4.19) for Erie. Tickets are available by calling 609-394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com.
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