Bircher Returns To Birds' In 2015
SIOUX FALLS, SD– The Sioux Falls Canaries are pleased to announce that LHP Joe Bircher will return to the Sioux Falls pitching staff in 2015.
The Omaha, Nebraska native was one of the few bright spots for a Sioux Falls pitching staff that finished with an American Association worst 5.49 ERA in 2014. The lefty allowed three or fewer runs and walked two or fewer batters in 12 of his 18 starts. He was also a reliable starter at the back end of the rotation, racking up 60 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched.
Bircher finished the regular season with a 4-8 record and 4.37 ERA, but was at his best in the month of July, posting a 1-2 record and 1.63 ERA. He made four starts during the month, allowing just four earned runs on 21 hits while working in 22 innings. His best start of the season came on July 11th at home against Grand Prairie. Bircher did not allow a run on six hits over seven innings, while recording 12 of his 21 recorded outs on groundballs.
“It’s great to have Joe back with the Canaries this year,” said Manager Chris Paterson. “His experience and knowledge in a tough North Division will be a great asset to the rest of our staff.”
The southpaw spent the previous two seasons with the Houston Astros organization, going a combined 7-7 while posting a 3.59 ERA in 27 career starts. In 2013, he struck out 35 batters over 65 innings while going 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 starts for Midwest affiliate Quad Cities.
Bircher played collegiately at 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 and The Canaries begin their 23rd season on May 21st-23rd in Sioux City, IA before opening their 2015 home schedule on Sunday, May 24th against the Explorers. Season, partial, group and suite tickets are on sale now by contacting the Canaries office at 605-336-6060.