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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hawai'i winter league adds 10 more players

Advertiser Staff

Ten more players, including five from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, will be playing in the revived Hawaii Winter Baseball league, the league announced.

Shortstop Brian Bixler, catcher Steven Lerud, outfielder Nyjer Morgan and pitchers Wardell Starling and David Davidson have been assigned to the Honolulu Sharks. They will be united with Pirates' Triple-A hitting coach Hensley Meulens, who earlier was named the Sharks' hitting coach.

Also joining the HWB are pitcher Neil Jamison and outfielder Will Venable of the San Diego Padres, catcher Josh Ford of the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitcher David Quinowski of the San Francisco Giants and shortstop Thomas Manzellas of the Houston Astros. Jamison, Venable and Ford will play for the West Oahu CaneFires, while Quinowski will pitch for the Waikiki BeachBoys. Manzella will play for the North Shore Honu.

Player facts:

  • Bixler split time between High-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League and Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, batting a combined .302 with 29 doubles and eight home runs with 52 RBIs. His combined on-base percentage was .384.

  • Lerud batted .239 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs for Hickory of the Low-A South Atlantic League.

  • Morgan also split time between Lynchburg and Altoona, batting a combined .304 with 82 runs and 59 steals. His on-base percentage is .375.

  • Starling, a right-hander, also split time at Lynchburg and Hickory. He was a combined 10-9 with a 2.98 earned run average. He had 87 strikeouts to 44 walks in 160 1/3 innings from 28 starts.

  • Davidson, a left-hander, pitched at three levels this past season, starting at Hickory, moving to Lynchburg and finishing at Altoona. He was a combined 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA. He had 96 strikeouts to 33 walks in 76 innings, most of them in relief.

  • Jamison, a right-hander, started the season at Low-A Fort Wayne of the Midwest League, but earned quick promotion to High-A Lake Elsinore of the California League. He was a combined 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA and 34 saves. He struck out 71 and walked 18 in 69 1/3 innings of relief.

  • Venable batted .314 with 34 doubles and 11 home runs with 91 RBIs at Fort Wayne. His father is former big leaguer Max Venable, who also coached at Fort Wayne.

  • Ford batted .293 with 17 doubles and seven home runs with 52 RBIs at High-A Lancaster of the California League.

  • Quinowski, a left-hander, was 4-2 with a 1.43 ERA and four saves at Low-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League. He had 76 strikeouts to 24 walks in 75 1/3 innings.

  • Manzella hit .275 with 22 doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBIs at Lexington of the South Atlantic League.

    The HWB opens Oct. 1 at Les Murakami Stadium and Hans L'Orange Park. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-7247 or on the league Web site at www.hawaiiwinterbaseball.com.