Patriots Sign MLB Infielders Mat Gamel And Robert Andino

Gamel-AndinoBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of former Major League infielders Mat Gamel and Robert Andino

Gamel begins his first year with the Patriots having spent parts of five seasons from 2008-2012 in the Majors with the Milwaukee Brewers. Over that span, Gamel hit six home runs with 29 RBI, including five home runs in 2009.

The Jacksonville, Florida native was the Brewers opening day starting first baseman in 2012 – replacing Prince Fielder, who had spent the previous six seasons as the Brewers first baseman – before injuries shortened his season and kept him out the last two years as well.

The former fourth-round draft pick from Chipola College’s best year came in 2011, where Gamel hit .310 with Triple-A Nashville while finishing second in the Pacific Coast League in home runs (28), fifth in runs (90) and seventh in RBI (96).

Over seven seasons in the minors, Gamel has a .304 batting average with 105 home runs, 503 RBI, 189 doubles and 473 runs scored.

“Gamel is a big time lefty power hitter who will fit nicely in the middle of our lineup,” Somerset Patriots Manager Brett Jodie said. “He has been very impressive offensively at both the minor and major league levels. We are excited to let him display both his offensive and defensive versatility with the Patriots.”

Andino brings nine years of Major League experience into his first season with the Patriots. He spent parts of four seasons with both the then-Florida Marlins and Baltimore Orioles, and most recently in 2013 with the Seattle Mariners.

The Miami, Florida native’s two most notable seasons in the Majors came in 2011 and 2012 with the Orioles, where he appeared in 139 and 127 games, respectively. Over his nine years in the big leagues, Andino has appeared in 468 games with 18 home runs, 96 RBI and 24 stolen bases.

Last year, the former second-round pick of the Marlins played in 109 games in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization with Triple-A Indianapolis. There, he hit seven homers with 42 RBI and 15 doubles.

Andino has 65 home runs, 404 RBI, 109 stolen bases and 1,016 hits in his 11 seasons of minor league baseball.

“Andino is a proven major leaguer who will solidify the middle of our infield,” said Jodie. “He is a true professional who brings a lot of experience and stability to a vital position. His many successful seasons at the plate will help bring leadership and versatility to our lineup.”

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Somerset Patriots Add Four Including Major League Pitcher

Four-signee-releaseBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of pitchers Andrew Carignan and Edwin Quirarte, catcher/infielder James Skelton and the re-signing of pitcher David Harden.

Carignan enters his first year with the Patriots, having made two stops at the Major League level with the Oakland Athletics in 2011 and 2012. In the Majors, the right-handed reliever made 17 appearances, recording one win and scattering eight hits with 13 strikeouts over 16 innings of work.

The New London, Connecticut native spent the first six years of his professional baseball career in the Athletics organization. Carignan played in the San Francisco Giants organization last year, splitting time between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Fresno. He made 30 appearances, striking out 39 in 40.1 innings pitched.

The University of North Carolina alum has a career minor league record of 12-10 with a 3.27 earned run average, 41 saves and 255 strikeouts over 171 appearances.

“Carignan will be a solid addition to our bullpen,” Somerset Patriots Manager Brett Jodie said. “He has been very dominant at times in both the minors and major leagues.”

Quirarte has spent all seven years of his professional baseball career in the Giants organization, reaching as high as Double-A Richmond from 2011-14. He was a teammate of Carignan last year with the Richmond Squirrels.

In four years at the Double-A level, the Ventura, California native has posted an 18-15 record with a 3.45 ERA and 13 saves in 181 appearances (one start). That includes a 2.61 ERA over 56 appearances with 10 saves in 2013.

The former fifth-round pick from Cal-State Northridge owns a 3.51 ERA and 46 saves over 306 minor league appearances.

“Quirarte has been a model of consistency throughout his career,” said Jodie. “He takes the ball in any situation and gets the job done. You want guys like him to succeed. I look for Edwin to pound the strike zone, induce weak contact from the hitters and let his defense make plays.”

Harden returns for his third season with the Patriots. In his two years with Somerset, Harden owns a 13-8 record with a 3.82 ERA over 33 appearances (21 starts).

The Marietta, Georgia native has four seasons of experience in independent baseball, including two seasons with the Southern Illinois Miners. In 71 minor league appearances (58 starts), Harden is 30-18 with a 3.28 ERA.

“We are thrilled to have Harden back with the Patriots,” said Jodie. “He is a huge contributor both on the field and in the locker room. He was one of our best starters in 2013 and we have full confidence he will regain that form this season.”

Skelton was acquired in a trade with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs for shortstop Edwin Maysonet on March 3rd. Last year, he split time in the Atlantic League between the Blue Crabs and the Lancaster Barnstormers, posting eight home runs with 40 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

This will be Skelton’s second stint with the Patriots; he last played in Somerset in 2013. That year, he hit .268 while playing catcher, first base and second base.

“Skelton is a very unique and special player as a catcher,” said Jodie. “He is able to help pitchers work down in the zone, has a cannon for an arm and is one of the best athletes on the field.”

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Somerset Patriots Extend President/GM Patrick McVerry’s Contract

patrickextensionnewsBridgewater, NJ- Somerset Patriots Chairman Steve Kalafer has announced that the team has extended the contract of President/General Manager Patrick McVerry for eight years. The significance of this contract extension is that it will have McVerry in his role for 25 years.

The announcement was made at a special luncheon at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Somerville, NJ on Wednesday, March 18th. The event welcomed Somerset County officials, team partners, and dignitaries. Kalafer introduced the program that also included words from McVerry and Somerset Patriots Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle.

“We are very excited to extend the contract of Patrick McVerry, our long-time President and General Manager. Under his guidance, the Somerset Patriots have prospered and have been one of the very best minor league teams throughout America. His dedication and efforts to our team, our fans, and our community have been unmatched. 25 years, or a quarter of a century, has a very nice ring to it,” said Kalafer.

McVerry first joined the Somerset Patriots in 1998 as the newly founded team’s Director of Marketing. He became the team’s Assistant General Manager briefly in 2000 before becoming President/General Manager in 2002.

“For the past 17 years, the Somerset Patriots have become my second family. From our wonderful ownership to the tremendous front office staff that I get to work with every day, this truly has been a privilege. The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders have been the best public partners anyone could ask for. I’ve been here to see the opening of our first class ballpark, the highs of five championships, and the lows of last place finishes and playoff eliminations. Through it all, we’ve received nothing but unbelievable support from our fans and partners,” said McVerry.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Somerset Patriots Sign Infielders Greg Hopkins And David Vidal

Hopkins-Vidal-Release2 (2)Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of infielders Greg Hopkins and David Vidal.

Hopkins arrives in Somerset after spending his entire professional baseball career in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. In five seasons with the Brewers, he has reached as high as Double-A.

The Mansfield, Massachusetts native split time between High-A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville in 2014. Combined, Hopkins hit six home runs with 27 runs batted in, 33 runs scored and seven stolen bases.

In addition, Hopkins made appearances defensively at first base, second base and third base over the year, recording just three errors in over 300 chances.

The St. John’s alum has 34 home runs with 241 RBI, 231 runs scored, 88 doubles and 43 stolen bases in his minor league career.

“Hopkins is another young talent we are excited to get our eyes on in camp,” said Somerset Patriots Manager Brett Jodie. “I think our environment will give him an opportunity to shine. He is that hard-nosed player that you cannot get enough of on your team. Talking with numerous people who know Greg, they all attest to him as an outstanding human being and a consistent player.”

Vidal enters his first year with the Patriots after enjoying a five-year stint in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Vidal has spent his entire career to this point with the Reds, reaching as high as Double-A Pensacola in 2012 and 2013.

The San Juan, Puerto Rico native spent all of last year with High-A Bakersfield, hitting four home runs while driving in 34 runs. That year, Vidal split time defensively at catcher, first base and third base.

In 2011, Vidal hit .280 with 20 home runs, 85 RBI and a league-leading 37 doubles with Single-A Dayton. He followed up that campaign in 2012 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI spread across two levels, including 11 homers with Pensacola.

The former 2010 eighth-round draft pick by the Reds has 52 home runs, 240 RBI and 109 doubles in his minor league career.

“Vidal is a very athletic guy who can play corner infield and also add some depth at the catching position. Vidal has shown very good power numbers before, and we think he can have success in the Atlantic league; but he will have to prove it. I believe he is ready and excited for the challenge,” Jodie said.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Somerset Patriots Sign Chris Marrero And Thomas Neal

marreronealBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the signings of first baseman/outfielder Chris Marrero and outfielder Thomas Neal.

Marrero has Major League experience with the Washington Nationals, who picked him in the first round (15th overall) of the 2006 draft.

Marrero played in 39 games for the Nationals in 2011 and 2013 and had 29 hits, five doubles, and 11 RBI.

He also has four seasons of Triple-A experience, including 37 games in the Baltimore Orioles organization last year.

Marrero has a minor league career .277 batting average with 901 hits, 179 doubles, 12 triples, 110 home runs, and 506 RBI over 882 games.

“We are very excited to have Chris Marrero join our team.  Chris is a very young and very talented player with Major League experience.  Chris will be a great presence in the middle of our lineup and bring much needed power and RBI production,” said Brett Jodie, Manager of the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club.

Neal appeared in 15 games at the Major League level for the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, and most recently with the Chicago Cubs in 2013.

In addition to his Major League time, Neal has three seasons of Triple-A experience. He has also played for the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds organizations.

Last season, Neal played in 106 games for Louisville, the Triple-A affiliate for the Reds, and had 44 runs, 93 hits, 18 doubles, and 38 RBI.

Over his nine seasons of professional baseball, Neal has a career .296 batting average, 867 hits, 188 doubles, 13 triples, 74 home runs, and 408 RBI in 807 games played.

“Thomas is very athletic and can play all three outfield positions. He is truly a special player who can hit for power and drive in runs while also posting a high average and on- base percentage.  Thomas is still very young in this game and we look forward to being the platform that helps him return to the Big Leagues,” Jodie said.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season presented by Ford, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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