TBONES

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The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have acquired infielder Jake Blackwood from Winnipeg in exchange for relief pitcher Patrick Mincey.

Blackwood, a 29-year-old Kansas City native who’s played mainly third base and second base for the past three seasons, batted .321 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs for the Goldeyes in 2014.

He was one of the top players for the T-Bones during 2009-2010, when the club still played in the Northern League. During those two seasons, Blackwood batted .315 with 210 hits, 124 RBIs and 114 runs scored in 162 games.

He was the Northern League MVP in 2010 after leading the league in home runs (31) and RBIs (86), and finishing third with a .331 batting average.

Following the ’10 season, San Diego selected Blackwood in the Rule 5 Draft. He spent the next three seasons in the Padres’ organization, reaching double-A San Antonio, where, in 2013, he led the Missions in RBIs (61), and was second on the club in hits (124) and doubles (24).

Blackwood, who was a 16th-round selection by the Florida Marlins out of Maple Woods Community College in 2006, is a career .268 hitter with 92 homers, 488 RBIs and 424 runs in 899 games.

“Jake wanted to come back home and we’re excited to have him here,” said T-Bones manager John Massarelli. “Once we added (reliever Jonathan) Kountis last week, we had some flexibility to give up Patrick and improve ourselves both offensively and defensively. Jake gives us that veteran run producer presence in the middle of the lineup.”

“We’re thrilled to re-acquire Jake and I know our fans will be, too,” said T-Bones vice-president and general manager Chris Browne. “He will be an important piece as we move forward.”

The T-Bones acquired Mincey on July 23. He went 2-0 with one save and a 6.00 ERA in 19 games (24 innings) for Kansas City.
- Story from T-Bones

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The Kansas City T-Bones have acquired relief pitcher Jonathan Kountis from Washington of the Frontier League in exchange for pitchers Andy Noga and Hamilton Bennett, and a player to be determined later.

Kountis, 26, is a 6-foot-3 and 215-pound right hander from Akron, Ohio. Last season with Washington, Kountis was selected as the Frontier League’s Relief Pitcher of the Year after going 1-4 with 32 saves and a 2.51 ERA in 41 appearances.

He had 50 strikeouts with 10 walks in 43 innings. The New York Mets selected Kountis in the 19th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of Embry-Riddle University.

During five professional seasons in the Mets and Toronto minor-league systems, plus four teams in the independent Frontier League and American Association, including 2012 at Lake Erie with current T-Bones manager John Massarelli, Kountis is 9-14 with 53 saves and a 4.09 ERA in 123 games. He has struck out 211 and walked 89 in 195 2/3 innings.

“Jonathan brings a power arm to the back end of the bullpen,” Massarelli said. “Royals fans know how important that can be.”

In 2014 with Kansas City, Noga went 2-6 with a 4.67 ERA in 23 appearances (17 starts). Bennett, whom the T-Bones signed midway through the 2014 season, had no decisions with a 10.06 ERA in 19 2/3 innings.
- Story from T-Bones

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The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have signed Garrett Granitz and Joe Rapp to contracts for the 2015 season.

Granitz, 28, is a 6-foot-2 and 195-pound right-handed relief pitcher out of Sun Prairie, Wis. He’s played four professional seasons, all in independent leagues, most recently with Rio Grande Valley of United League Baseball.

In 34 appearances in 2014 with Rio Grande, Granitz went 1-0 with a 1.45 ERA. In 31 innings he struck out 22 and walked 15. Granitz has a 7-5 record and 2.89 ERA in 100 professional games.

“Garrett is a submarine pitcher who will scrape his knuckles on the CommunityAmerica Ballpark turf,” said T-Bones manager John Massarelli. “He’ll come out of the bullpen and hopefully make it tough for right-handed hitters to elevate the ball.”

Rapp, 24, is a 6-foot-2 and 225-pound first baseman-outfielder from Sarasota, Fla. He spent the first two seasons of his professional career in the San Francisco Giants organization after the club selected him in the 28th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

He played last season for the Greys of the Frontier League, where he batted .256 with 95 hits, including 19 home runs and 55 RBIs. In three professional seasons, Rapp is a .264 hitter with 36 homers, 151 RBIs and 134 runs scored.

“Joe was on our radar last spring when he left the Giants organization, but we didn’t have a roster spot at the time,” Massarelli said. “So he spent last season in the Frontier League and put up solid numbers.”

The T-Bones open the 2015 regular season at home on May 22 against Lincoln.

– Story from T-Bones

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