GCS Credit Union Ballpark - Sauget, Ill. - The Gateway Grizzlies have hired former MLB pitcher Randy Wells to their coaching staff. Wells, a Belleville native, will serve as the pitching coach for the 2017 season.
Wells pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs between 2008 and 2012. During his career in the big leagues, Wells put together a 28-32 record with 345 strikeouts and a 4.08 ERA.
"I'm excited to get started," Wells stated. "I will never forget the lessons I have learned and hopefully I'll be able to pass them on to a young player who will get to fulfill their dream of playing in the big leagues."
Wells became known for his pitching but was originally drafted in the 38th round by the Chicago Cubs as a catcher in the 2002 amateur draft. Grizzlies' manager Phil Warren sees that as another tool to benefit the ball club for the upcoming season.
"He isn't just a pitching guy," the Grizzlies' manager explained. "He has also played catcher and that'll help improve that communication between our pitchers and catchers."
Wells also believes that he being a late bloomer with pitching will help him succeed in this new position.
"I think the one strong asset I bring is the fact I wasn't a pitcher my whole life," Wells said. "So when u talk mechanics, or how to condition, or how to select pitches, every aspect of the position I had to learn."
Wells will be replacing longtime Grizzlies' pitching coach Randy Martz who spent 10 seasons with the organization before retiring after the 2016 season.
"I have big shoes to fill in Randy Martz," Wells said. "Hopefully I can step in and continue where he left off."
The 2017 season will begin on May 12 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark when Gateway will take on the Florence Freedom at 7:05 PM. For tickets and information, call the Grizzlies box office at 618-337-3000 or CLICK HERE.
ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find - affordable, family, fun in a comfortable ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.
ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is celebrating its 25thyear as a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.