The Italian Baseball League club FORTITUDO BOLOGNA brings in a new catcher with the 25-year-old Canadian Matt Stocco. He attended Elon University and played with them in the Southern Conference (NCAA Division I) in 2004 and 2005. After being on the roster of the Independent League club Winnipeg for a short time after graduating, he signed with the San Diego Padres organization as an undrafted amateur free agent and started his career with the Major League organization in their low-A affiliate in 2006.
He moved through the farm system the following years, reaching Double-A in 2008, though only playing in a total of eleven games last year. During his Minor League career Stocco batted a combined .197 (OBP .252/SLG .298) over all levels with five homeruns, 41 runs scored and 40 RBI in 119 games. He is scheduled to arrive on March 17.
According to the report on Baseball.it, FORTITUDO still is looking for a sponsorship to finance more new players for the 2009 season. They apparently already have agreements in place with the Dominicans Eddy Garabi and Eddy Rodriguez. Garabi is a former utility player in the Colorado Rockies organization, playing as high as Triple-A. Rodriguez pitched in 38 games for the Baltimore Orioles between 2004 and 2006.
New shortstop Juan Infante was expected to come to Bologna on Friday and will make his debut this Saturday in an exhibition game against CASTENASO. New pitcher Yulman Ribeiro will join the team on March 17. Staff ace Jesus Matos will arrive three days later.