The Gary SouthShore RailCats signed left-handed pitcher and Avon, Ind., native Tasker Strobel to his first American Association contract and moved outfielder John Price Jr. from the Inactive List to the 23-man active roster before Friday’s series opener vs. the Chicago Dogs. In order to make room for Strobel and Price Jr. on the active roster, Gary placed left-handed pitcher Seth Hougesen on 7-Day Disabled List with a fatigued left arm retroactive to Friday and placed outfielder Alex Boxwell on irrevocable waivers.
Strobel signed his first professional baseball contract with the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League in 2017 following his senior season at now defunct St. Joseph’s College and went 1-2 with a 7.31 ERA in seven games (two starts). The southpaw allowed just one run over five innings in his professional baseball debut against the River City Rascals on May 28th and recorded the win in his second professional baseball appearance with 0.2 hitless innings pitched on June 2nd vs. the Lake Erie Crushers.
As a senior in 2017 at St. Joseph’s, Strobel went 7-3 with three complete games and a 3.17 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). The senior also posted a career-high in strikeouts (68), innings (88), WHIP (1.27), wins (seven), ERA (3.17), games (14) and starts (13). As a junior in 2016, Strobel went 4-4 with a 4.53 ERA in 12 games (nine starts). In 57.2 innings pitched, the southpaw allowed 34 runs (29 earned) on 68 hits and 13 walks while striking out 57.
Price Jr. was placed on the Inactive List on June 1st retroactive to May 30th with a broken right hand and hasn’t played in a game since May 29th. Prior to his injury, Price was slashing .250/.282/.444/.726 with nine hits (six extra-base hits), three runs and six RBIs in 10 games.
The RailCats re-acquired outfielder Price Jr. from the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League to complete the Chuck Weaver trade from May 30, 2018. Price Jr. slashed a career-best .266/.311/.460/.771 with 16 runs, 33 hits, one triple, five home runs, 16 RBIs, five walks, three hit by pitches and three sacrifice hits in 36 games (34 starts) between the Gateway Grizzlies and Florence of the Frontier League. Price Jr. began the 2018 season with Gary, slashing .217/.213/.304/.517 with four runs, 10 hits, two doubles, one triple and one RBI in 13 games before getting traded to Gateway for future considerations on July 4.
Hougesen signed his first professional baseball contract with Gary on June 30th following his senior season at Delta State University and is 0-1 with a 6.50 ERA in five games (four starts). In 18 innings, the southpaw has allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 25 hits and eight walks while striking out eight.
Hougesen didn’t allow a run in his first 9.1 innings pitched to begin his professional baseball career. Hougesen tossed four shutout innings in his professional baseball debut on June 30th vs. Kansas City and didn’t allow a run over three innings in his only relief appearance on July 5th against the Cleburne Railroaders.
Hougesen recently completed his senior season at Delta State University and went 9-0 with three complete games (one shutout) in 14 appearances (10 starts). In 59 innings pitched, the southpaw allowed 20 runs (16 earned) on 51 hits and 14 walks while striking out 55.
A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Hougesen transferred to Delta State as a junior in 2018, and went 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 12 games (eight starts). In 35.1 innings, Hougesen allowed 26 runs (22 earned) on 40 hits and 22 walks while striking out 39.
In 2017, Hougesen was named National Junior College (NJCAA) National Pitcher of the Year at Dyersburg State Community College after going 14-1 with a 1.49 ERA. In 92.1 innings pitched, the southpaw struck out 107 batters and allowed just 74 hits and 35 walks.
Prior to attending Dyersburg State Community College, Hougesen attended Concordia University—Wisconsin for his freshman year in 2016. Hougesen was named to the Honorable Mention All-Northern Athletics Conference Team and the NACC All-Freshman Team after going 3-3 with one complete game and a 3.35 ERA in nine games (eight starts). In 40. 1 innings pitched, the left-hander allowed 19 runs (15 earned) on 42 hits and nine walks while striking out 38.
Boxwell re-signed with Gary on Monday and went 3-for-8 with two stolen bases, a run, a triple and a walk in three games. Boxwell went 3-for-4 with a run, a triple and a stolen base in his RailCats debut on Monday vs. Fargo-Moorhead and recorded a triple for his first professional hit in his first at-bat with the ‘Cats.
Boxwell signed with the RailCats in the offseason on Feb. 15, 2019 and spent all of Spring Training with Gary. Boxwell signed his first American Association contract with the St. Paul Saints on Aug. 25, 2018, and appeared in one game. Boxwell was a four-starter at the University of Minnesota and was named to the NCAA Minneapolis Regional All-Tournament Team as a senior in 2018. Boxwell led the Gophers with 21 stolen bases and slashed .258/.312/.412 with 32 runs, 47 hits, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs and 34 RBIs in 50 games. Defensively, the outfielder finished with two assists and didn’t commit a single error for the third time in his career.
As a junior in 2017, Boxwell finished with a team-high six home runs and seven stolen bases and slashed .253/.329/.438 with 28 runs, 37 hits, one double, four triples and 14 RBIs in 40 games. Defensively, Boxwell finished with a .985 fielding percentage and committed just one error in 65 chances.
In 2016, Boxwell slashed a career-high .327/.379/.464 with 19 runs, 36 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, one home run, 16 RBIs and two stolen bases in 48 games. Defensively, Boxwell finished with a perfect fielding percentage after not committing a single error. In the summer of 2016, Boxwell played for the Waterloo Bucks of the Northwoods Summer Collegiate Baseball League for the second consecutive season. Boxwell slashed .308/.354/.433 with 37 runs, 69 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 23 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 56 games.
As a freshman in 2015, Boxwell slashed .194/.239/.328 with 10 runs, 13 hits, one double, one triple, two home runs, six RBIs and one stolen base in 25 games. Defensively, Boxwell recorded a perfect fielding percentage for the first time in his career. In the summer of 2015, Boxwell was invited to the MLB Dreams Showcase after slashing .289/.372/.378 with 25 runs, 39 hits, five doubles, two triples, one home run, 23 RBIs and 10 stolen bases with Waterloo.
Gary continues their season-long 10-day, 11-game homestand on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. in the beginning game of a four-game series against Chicago. Right-hander Frank Moscatiello (0-0, 3.46) makes his second start for the RailCats against the Dogs’ All-Star Luke Westphal (7-1, 2.12) in the opening game of the series. Friday’s game is also another Fifth Third Bank Postgame Fireworks Friday.
Ticket packages for the 2019 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.