“After doing some research and speaking with [director of player personnel] Jon Hunton, Somerset became a place I wanted to be in,” said Below. “I was excited to sign here and am looking forward to Spring Training and meeting all the guys.”
Below enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. The 6’3” southpaw appeared in 43 games (three starts) at the Major League level spread across three seasons (2011-13) with the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins. Below’s best season in the majors came in 2012 with the Tigers in which he went 2-1 with a 3.88 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just eight walks in 27 appearances (one start).
The Lakeland, Florida resident has spent the last two years playing with Triple-A Las Vegas in the New York Mets organization after spending eight of the first nine years of his career in the Tigers organization. Below has recorded nine wins with Las Vegas in 35 appearances (28 starts) over the last two years, including a 2.19 ERA over 49.1 innings of work in 2015. Additionally, he has pitched exclusively stateside in either the majors or at the Triple-A Level since 2011. That includes a 9-4, 3.13 ERA-season in 2011 with the Toledo Mudhens.
“We are very excited to have Duane join our pitching staff,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Duane is a quality lefty who has had success at all levels of baseball. He has been a consistent starter, but we will look for him to be a relief option for us. Below had great numbers in the big leagues as a reliever and we hope we can help him get back to that level.”
The Lake Michigan College alumnus owns a 65-61 record with a 3.74 ERA over 202 appearances (182 starts) in 11 seasons in the minors.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.