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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Winter league adds seven players

Advertiser Staff

Seven more players have been added to Hawaii Winter Baseball, the league announced yesterday.

The Milwaukee Brewers are sending outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Darren Ford, and left-handed pitcher Joe Thatcher.

The Toronto Blue Jays are providing outfielders Ryan Patterson and Eric Nielsen, while the Florida Marlins are bringing third baseman Grant Psomas and right-handed pitcher Rick Vanden Hurk.

Cain and Ford both played for the West Virginia Power of the Low-A South Atlantic League. Cain batted .307, scoring 91 runs, stealing 34 (to 11 times caught stealing). Ford batted .283 with 93 runs scored and stole 69 bases (to 15 times caught stealing).

Thatcher pitched at three levels this past season, starting at West Virginia before moving on to Brevard County of the High-A Florida State League and then to Double-A Huntsville of the Southern League. In a combined 65 2/3 innings at the three leagues, he was 5-4 with a 1.37 earned run average and 80 strikeouts to 17 walks.

Patterson started the season at Dunedin of the Florida State League, batting .288 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs. He was promoted to New Hampshire of the Double-A Eastern League, batting .257 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 49 games.

Nielsen batted .286 with a .392 on-base percentage at Dunedin. He hit 16 doubles and six home runs.

Psomas batted .291 with 25 doubles and eight home runs with 53 RBIs at Jupiter of the Florida league.

Vanden Hurk, who was born in The Netherlands, started the season at the rookie level Gulf Coast League before earning promotion to Jupiter. In eight combined appearances at both levels, he logged 25 innings, striking out 41 to 14 walks. He had no decisions with an ERA of 1.80.

The league starts Oct. 1.