SIOUX CITY, IA – The Lincoln Saltdogs announced today they acquired left-handed pitcher Joe Bircher from the Sioux Falls Canaries. The deal completes an earlier trade that sent OF Mike Hart to the Canaries. Bircher is starting his Saltdogs career on the Disabled List.
Bircher, an Omaha native, spent parts of the last five seasons with Sioux Falls. He was 22-29 with a 3.84 ERA over 84 appearances for the Canaries. Bircher was 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA over 10 starts this season. He went 5.2 innings and gave up just one run to the Winnipeg Goldeyes in his last start on July 9th.
The lefty’s best season came in 2016. Bircher was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA over 19 starts for the Birds. He struck out 108 batters over 123.2 innings pitched. His finished second in the league in ERA, sixth in strikeouts, 11th in innings pitched and ninth in opponent’s batting average (.244).
Bircher spent two season in the Astros farm system before joining the Canaries. He was 7-7 with a 3.59 ERA over 31 appearances in the Astros’ system. He peaked at Single-A Quad Cities in 2013. Bircher was picked in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Astros.
The 28-year-old starred at Bradley University in college. He finished his career with a 21-16 record and a 3.58 ERA. He set school records with 302 career strikeouts and 359.2 innings pitched.
Bircher played four years of baseball at Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha. He earned second-team all-state honors as a junior and senior. Bircher’s American Legion team won consecutive Class B State Championships in 2007 and 2008.
The trade stems back to May 15th when Lincoln traded LHP Cesilio Pimentel to the Canaries in exchange for OF Mike Hart. The Saltdogs traded Hart back to Sioux Falls on May 24th in exchange for a player to be named later.
The Saltdogs (27-25) face the Sioux City Explorers in Iowa in the second game of a three-game set on Saturday night. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com/stream.