Grizzlies bring back three players for season

Cody Livsay
Cody Livsay

The Gateway Grizzlies have extended the contract of right-handed pitcher Trevor Richards, who joined the organization during June of the 2015 season.

The Grizzlies also re-signed infielder Craig Massoni and outfielder Cody Livesay. Both players return to Gateway after joining the organization during the 2015 season.

Richards maintained a 3.36 ERA in 14 starts for Gateway last season, including a stretch where he pitched at least six innings in 11 consecutive outings. Prior to signing with the Grizzlies, he finished his senior season at Drury University with 72 innings of work on the mound.

“As a rookie, I learned about the day-to-day grind of professional baseball,” said Richards, who grew up in nearby Aviston. “I threw a handful of innings last year between Drury and the Grizzlies, so I gave my arm a couple of months off to make sure I have the proper rest before this season,” he said.

Richards capped off his rookie campaign with perhaps his best outing of the season, as he shut down the Lake Erie Crushers with eight scoreless innings on September 6. He would finish the year by recording 84 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 91 innings pitched.

Massoni and Livesay return to Gateway after joining the organization during the 2015 season.

Massoni, a native of Danville, Calif., hit .289 while smashing 7 home runs in just 128 at-bats for the Grizzlies last season. Gateway manager Phil Warren acquired Massoni in a trade with the Lake Erie Crushers in mid-June.

“My first season with Gateway was a great experience,” said Massoni, who spent time in the San Francisco Giants organization prior to signing in the Frontier League. “I really felt like I found a home and I couldn’t be happier to be heading back,” he said.

Massoni returns to a Grizzlies’ offense that hit 75 home runs last season, which was the third-most in the league.

“We finished 2015 extremely strong and I have no reason to believe that we can’t carry that into 2016,” he said. “We proved at the end of last year that when we are healthy and on a roll, we can be really tough to play with.”

Livesay comes back to Sauget after an impressive season at the top of Gateway’s lineup. He batted a team-high .308 in 71 games while stealing 13 bases.

“My first season with the Grizzlies was more than I could ask for,” said Livesay, who joined the team in early June of last season. “Having old teammates already there definitely made it easier to fit right in.”

Livesay ended the season on a 12-game hitting streak, including six multi-hit games during that span.

The Grizzlies open up the 2016 season on May 13 against the Washington Wild Things in the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark.