LINCOLN, NE — The Lincoln Saltdogs continue to make transactions as the offseason rolls on. Recently, the Saltdogs acquired the rights to former Saltdogs left-handed pitcher Cesilio Pimentel, signed catcher Tyler Moore, signed Norris High School graduate Trey Hair and traded outfielder T.J. Bennett.
The Saltdogs traded catcher Dashenko Ricardo to the Sioux Falls Canaries in exchange for the reversionary rights to Pimentel. The lefty hurler pitched for the Saltdogs in 2017 and went 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA over 11 games. Then, his contract was purchased by the Diamondbacks’ organization and he had a short stint in rookie ball. Lincoln dealt Pimentel to the Canaries just before the 2018 season in a trade which eventually brought LHP Joe Bircher to the capital city. Pimentel was dominant for Sioux Falls. The Dominican led the league with a 1.36 ERA and a 3-1 record over 11 games and six starts. He left the ‘Birds to finish the season in the Triple-A Mexican League. Pimentel currently has a 2.84 ERA in 14 appearances for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League.
Ricardo leaves Lincoln as one of the best catchers to grace Haymarket Park. He hit .269 with 64 RBIs over two seasons with the ‘Dogs. His 11 home runs are the fourth-most by a catcher in Saltdogs history. The Curacao-native caught 29 runners stealing in two seasons, the third-most in franchise history. Ricardo played with three of his Team Netherlands teammates (Curt Smith, Shairon Martis, Randolph Oduber) in Lincoln.
Moore brings a left-handed bat to the catcher’s spot. The LSU product spent fives seasons in the Mets organization, including the last two years in Double-A. The former sixth round pick has a career .204 batting average with 32 doubles and 64 RBIs over 242 games. He boasted impressive caught stealing percentages of 30 percent and 27 percent in the last two seasons respectively. Moore was the starting catcher for LSU for three seasons. He accumulated a career batting average of .282 to go with 10 home runs and 76 RBIs. Moore played with Saltdogs infielder Christian Ibarra for two seasons with the Tigers.
Trey Hair adds a local flavor to the team. The infielder was a second-team Super Sate honoree by the Lincoln Journal Star as a senior at Norris High School. He helped lead the Titans to the Class B State Title in 2013. He notched a double in Norris’ 3-2 win over Lincoln Pius X in the state championship game. Hair eventually went to Evansville University where batted .297 with 43 RBIs as a senior to earn a 34th round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. The second baseman hit .295 with 14 homers in the Rays system before being released.
Bennett was traded to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for two players to be named later. The utility man played every position except pitcher and catcher for Lincoln in 2018. The lefty recorded a .271 average with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs over 57 games. Bennett finished the season with a .477 slugging percentage, the fifth-best mark on the team.
The Saltdogs start their 19th season on May 16th at Sioux City. The team begins its home slate at Haymarket Park on Thursday, March 23rd. For more information on the Saltdogs, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.