Pitchers West and Barrett will be back with Grizzlies in 2014

Special to the News-DemocratFebruary 7, 2014 

Right-handed pitchers Ja'Vaun West and Richard Barrett will be returning to the Gateway Grizzlies for the 2014 season.

West, 24, will embark on his third season with the Grizzlies in 2014. The Atlanta, Mo., native has a career record of 13-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 37 games (20 starts).

"We expect Ja'Vaun to be a front of the rotation starter for us," said Grizzlies manager Phil Warren. "We feel like he has the chance to be one of the best starters in the league. He's healthy and ready to go."

West was a Frontier League All-Star in 2014, compiling a record of 8-3 with a 3.02 ERA in 17 games (all starts).

"I'm really excited about the 2014 season and can't wait to meet all the new guys at spring training," West said. "The last two years were a growing process for me and helped me learn to pitch and not just throw. Our team is ready for a big year."

Barrett, who has been in the Frontier League since 2010, went 2-2 with 3.15 ERA in his 2014 All-Star season with the Grizzlies.

The 26-year-old from California collected a team-high 14 saves while appearing in 35 games (all relief). He has 31 combined saves the last two seasons with the Grizzlies.

"Richard has experience closing and starting which gives us so some options going into the season," Warren said. "We want him to go into spring training with the mindset of being a starting pitcher. He has had a lot of success in that role in the past."

Barrett has a 15-13 career record with an ERA of 3.17. He has played for three different Frontier League teams (Gateway, River City and Windy City), but has appeared for the Grizzlies in each of the four seasons. Barrett started a combined 12 games in 2010 and 2011.

"I'm extremely excited about coming back and starting the new challenge and new role as a key leader on the field and in the locker room," Barrett said. "I can't wait for spring training the start of a new season."

Barrett also serves as a pitching instructor for the Grizzlies Baseball Academy, which is owned by Warren.

The Grizzlies 2014 regular season opener is on May 16 when they take on the Traverse City Beach Bums at GCS Ballpark.

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