Bircher Returns For Fourth Season With The Birds

Posted: 2/7/2017

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SIOUX FALLS, SD- The Sioux Falls Canaries announced on Tuesday morning that the organization has come to terms with LHP Joe Bircher for the 2017 American Association season.

Bircher, 26, was one of the league’s top pitchers in 2016. The Omaha, NE native finished the season holding the second best ERA in the American Association (2.55) and ranked sixth in the league in strikeouts (108).

The southpaw made a team high 19 starts in 2016 while also leading the team in strikeouts, ERA, wins (6) and innings pitched (123.2). Over his final six starts of the season, Bircher went 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He was named the American Association’s Pitcher of the Week on July 24th after holding the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and Texas Airhogs to just two runs on five hits while striking out 17 batters over 13 combined innings.

“Joe is coming off the best season of his career, and one of the best individual seasons in Canaries history,” said Canaries GM Duell Higbe. “He is a master at the chess game between batter and pitcher. We are looking forward to him anchoring the front end of our rotation again in 2017.”

The Omaha, NE native has racked up 216 strikeouts in three seasons with the Birds while posting a 14-18 record and 3.02 ERA.

Bircher was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Bradley University. He spent two seasons in the Astros organization, going a combined 7-7 while posting a 3.59 ERA in 27 starts.

The Sioux Falls Canaries enter their 25th season on May 18th against the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis & Clark Park. The home portion of the 2017 schedule opens up on Saturday, May 20th at the Birdcage. For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit www.sfcanaries.com.