Wingnuts Add Trio of Arms, Including Former Shocker
WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita Wingnuts made a series of transactions to bolster their pitching staff on Monday, signing right-handed pitchers Charlie Gillies, John Hayes, and Jackson Sigman.
In addition to the signings, Wichita has released right-handed pitcher Jared Wilson and left-handed pitcher Evan Sanders. The transactions bring the Wingnuts roster up to 23 players, the maximum allowed by American Association roster rules.
Gillies joins the Wingnuts with six years of professional experience, three in affiliated baseball and three at the independent level. A 2012 tenth round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers out of The Master's College in California, Gillies pitched in the Tigers organization for three seasons, reaching High-A Lakeland. Over 29 games and 28 starts, Gillies compiled a 3.86 ERA in the Detroit system, before moving to the independent ranks in 2015.
The native of Valencia, Calif., started that season in the American Association with the Amarillo Thunderheads, making three appearances before suiting up for Trois-Rivieres of the Can-Am League. With the Aigles, Gillies put together his best season, going 6-4 with a 3.32 ERA in 2015. He started the 2016 campaign with Trois-Rivieres, then joined the Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League and posted another 6-4 mark with a 3.99 ERA. Last year, Gillies made 20 starts for Normal, finishing 7-10 with a 4.25 ERA. For his career, the 27-year old owns a 21-33 record with a 4.19 ERA in 82 starts.
Hayes played his college baseball at Wichita State University, suiting up for the Shockers in 2015 and 2016 after spending his first two years at Galveston College and Murray State College. The Denison, Texas, native made an immediate impact with Wichita State as a junior, going 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA and four saves. The right-hander earned All-Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention honors, and was named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List for the following season. As a senior Hayes notched six more saves, striking out 43 in 36.2 innings of work.
The Tigers selected Hayes in the 25th round of the 2016 Draft, the first of three seasons that he would spend in the Detroit system. Hayes pitched each of the first two years at Low-A Connecticut, before being promoted to Class-A West Michigan for 2018. The 25-year old's best season was 2016, as Hayes posted a 1.80 ERA and six saves in 19 appearances out of the bullpen. Through the first seven outings of this year, Hayes logged a 1.54 ERA with West Michigan before being released on May 14.
Sigman was an accomplished reliever at West Virginia University, making 69 appearances out of the bullpen over three seasons with the Mountaineers. As a senior, the Austin, Texas, native went 6-4 with a 4.94 ERA in a school-record 36 outings, striking out 73 in 58.0 innings. The sidewinder's 36 appearances ranked top five nationally. Sigman was at his best in the postseason, tossing 4.2 innings of relief against the University of Maryland in the 2017 regional, allowing just one run while striking out seven.
The 22-year old caught on with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League out of college, appearing in 19 games before the Kansas City Royals signed him as a minor league free agent. Sigman finished the 2017 season with the Royals Arizona League affiliate, seeing action in five games.
The Wingnuts open a seven-game road swing with a series against the Cleburne Railroaders on Monday night. Gillies will make his first start for Wichita, while Cleburne will counter with right-hander Patrick Young (1-1, 4.56). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM and will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM KGSO, TuneIn and americanassociationbaseball.tv.
For information on season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Wingnuts main office at (316) 264-NUTS, or visit the Wingnuts official website at www.wichitawingnuts.com.
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