New manager Ruggero Bagialemani welcomes new faces in Grosseto for the 2010 season. The Italian Baseball League club announced on Tuesday that they bring in pitchers John Billy Diaz, Stefano Cappuccini and Lino Luciani in addition to outfielder/catcher Vinicio Sparagna.
Diaz is a 26-year-old former Minor Leaguer in the Texas Rangers organization, where he played as high as Double-A between 2006 and 2008. The Dominican had a 10-9 record with an ERA of 5.12 in 110 games (14 starts). He struck out 152 in 249 2/3 innings, walking 77. He is currently pitching in the Colombian Winter League for Caimanes.
Luciani is returning to the club, where he made his IBL debut in 1991. The 36-year-old left-hander played mostly for Grosseto, but also for Godo, Bologna and Caserta in his career. The past two seasons he pitched for Godo in the IBL. He has a 42-35 record so far with an ERA of 4.82 in 267 games. He has struck out 362 batters in 801 2/3 innings, walking 317.
Cappuccini is another player to come back to the Orioles. The 38-year-old right-hander spent ten seasons in Grosseto between 1990 and 2001, interrupted only by two years in Bologna. The past few years he played for lower-division clubs. In 2009 he was playing for Arezzo in the Serie A2. He led the team with a .355 batting average (OBP .414/SLG .484) with two homeruns, 28 runs and 16 RBI in 32 games. On the mound he had an ERA of 5.11 in 16 games (two starts). He struck out 38 in 56 1/3 innings, walking 23. In his IBL career he has a 5.82 ERA and a batting average of .271 (OBP .371/SLG .439).
Sparagna is 22 years old and looks back at two seasons in the IBL for Anzio in 2004 and 2006. He attended the Italian Baseball Academy in Tirrenia in the past as well as the MLB Academy (2005). In 2009 he batted .365 (OBP .511/SLG .635) with three homeruns, three triples, eleven doubles, 27 runs and 37 RBI in 32 games for Anzio in the Serie A2. In the IBL he has a .151 career batting average (OBP .244/SLG .226) in 212 at-bats through 75 games.
Photo: © Ferrini/FIBS