SAUGET — The Gateway Grizzlies have announced the re-signing of right-handed pitcher Richard Barrett and the return of infielder Vladimir Frias, who played 32 games in 2012 before getting signed by the Chicago Cubs.
"These are two big singings for us," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "Richard is a veteran arm in our bullpen and Vladimir is one of the best defensive infielders in the entire league."
Barrett, who has been in the Frontier League since 2010, went 1-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 2012 as the Grizzlies closer. The 25-year-old from Sonoma, CA, collected a team-high 17 saves while appearing in 36 games. Barrett has a career record of 13-11 with a 3.18 ERA in three seasons with three different teams (Gateway, River City and Windy City). He has appeared in 98 games (12 starts) and thrown 172 and two thirds innings.
"Richard had one of his best seasons in 2012," Warren remarked. "He's a great competitor with a strong work ethic and a strong desire to win. He'll be a key piece of our ballclub again in 2013."
Barrett also serves as a pitching instructor for the Grizzlies Baseball Academy, which is owned by Warren.
Frias, 26, returns to Gateway after a 15-game stint with the Daytona Cubs (High-A) in 2012. He batted .316 (12-for-38) with two extra base hits and an RBI. It was the third different organization (Cubs, Red Sox, Giants) Frias had played for.
The switch-hitting Dominican Republic native was picked up by the Cubs after batting .283 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 32 games with the Grizzlies last year. Known for his sparkling defense, Frias only committed three errors at shortstop.
"Vladimir Frias can change a game defensively," Warren said. "He makes our team better when he's with us. He also turned it on offensively before he left for the Cubs. We're thrilled to have him back this season."
The Grizzlies 2013 home opener is May 21 when they take on the Joliet Slammers at GCS Ballpark. Season and group tickets are on sale now. For more information call 618-337-3000.