Bircher Returns For 3rd Season With The Birds
Sioux Falls, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries announced on Friday afternoon that Joe Bircher will return for a third season with the organization.
The 27-year-old Bircher made 15 starts for the Birds last season, finishing the year with a 4-4 record and 3.04 ERA. The southpaw missed just over a month of playing time during the month of July, but returned in August to help anchor the rotation. He made five starts over his final seven appearances, posting a 1-1 record and 1.80 ERA. He capped off his strong finish on September 1st with 7 shutout innings in a 1-0 road win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
“Birch is our veteran in the rotation,” said Field Manager Chris Paterson. “He knows the league well, and knows how to pitch in our ballpark. We need an experienced lefty like him in our rotation. Someone who can give us quality innings and help us win ball games.”
Bircher spent two seasons in the Houston Astros organization prior to joining Sioux Falls of the American Association in 2014. Bircher went a combined 7-7 while posting a 3.59 ERA in 27 career starts. In 2013 the southpaw struck out 35 batters over 65 innings, while going 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 starts for Midwest affiliate Quad Cities.
The Astros selected Bircher in the 10th round of the 2012 draft out of Bradley University, where he set career records with 302 strikeouts and 359 2/3 innings pitched. His 113 strikeouts in 2012 equaled the second-best season total in program history and were the most by a Bradley Brave since 1956.
Bircher holds an 8-12 record and 3.78 ERA in two seasons with Sioux Falls.
Bircher and the Canaries begin the 24th season of Birds’ baseball on May 19th against the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis & Clark Park. The Canaries kick off the 2016 home portion of their schedule on Friday, May 20th with a special presentation from All-Star Fireworks after the game. For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com