Canaries Sign Ricardo, Fritze, and Hart

Posted: 12/31/2018

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PHOTO – Ry Tupper Photography

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Sioux Falls Canaries announced on Monday morning that they have signed newly acquired Catcher Dashenko Ricardo. The Birds have also re-signed key players from the 2018 roster, Relief Pitcher Ryan Fritze and Utility man Michael Hart.

Dashenko Ricardo, 28, spent the past two seasons with the Lincoln Saltdogs as their starting catcher. The Willemstad, Curacao native represented the Saltdogs in the 2017 American Association All-Star game, and has put together a .269/.308/.375/.683 slash line over the past two seasons.

“Dashenko brings a level of experience behind that plate that we haven’t had since Eddie Rodriquez in 2010” says Canaries Manager Mike Meyer. “He’s played at the highest levels, and has competed in a lot of international tournaments for the Dutch National Team. Dashenko will work hand-in-hand with Pitching Coach Ben Moore to establish scouting reports on opposing lineups. We are excited to have him act as a General behind the dish.”

Ryan Fritze, 24, is coming off the best season of his career. During the 2018 campaign, Fritze appeared in 42 games, finishing with a 3.06 ERA, held opponents to a .230 batting average, tossed 50 innings, while striking out 60 batters.

“We are thrilled to have Ryan back for the 2019 season” said Meyer. “Fritze became one of our most reliable relievers over the course of the season. He has a mid-90’s fastball that really gets on the hitter. We expect Ryan to continue to improve, and play a big role for us in the bullpen.”

Michael Hart, 24, had a stellar first professional season in 2018 for Sioux Falls. After a brief stint in Lincoln to start the season, he returned to the Canaries after 5 games and did nothing but hit. Competing in 66 games, the super-utility man finished the season with a .309 batting average, and a fantastic .383 on-base percentage.

“Mike quickly established himself as one of my all-time favorite players I have coached” Meyer says. “Not only is he extremely athletic and talented, but the intensity he brings to the field every single night is unmatched in the league. He’s a human highlight reel in the outfield, and is a quality backup catcher. Mike should only get better with more at bats, and we look for him to be a table setter at the top of our lineup in 2019.”

The Canaries kick off their 2019 season on the road, opening up at The Depot in Cleburne, Texas. The Birds open up their home schedule on Friday, May 31st against the Winnipeg Goldeyes, with the first Friday Night Fireworks show to follow the game. For more information on season tickets, group outings, and corporate partnerships, visit the Canaries Official Website at www.sfcanaries.com or call the Front Office at (605)336-6060.

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