LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs were busy shifting personnel via trades during the beginning of the off-season. The Saltdogs received right-handed pitcher Devin Raftery, RHP Zac Westcott and infielder Jake Vieth as a result of the first series of moves.
On October 1st, Lincoln acquired Raftery and Westcott from Windy City (Frontier League) for two players to be named later. Raftery brings three seasons of experience to the capital city. He boasts an impressive 7-3 record with a sparkling 1.91 ERA over 69 appearances, almost entirely out of the bullpen. The Florida native split 2018 between Southern Maryland (Atlantic League) and Windy City. He recorded a 1.22 ERA with a team-high 15 saves for Ron Biga’s club. Previously, he spent two seasons in the Astros organization and reached High-A Buies Creek in 2017. Raftery was a Division Two All-American at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Westcott returns to Lincoln for his second stint with the Saltdogs. Another Nova Southeastern product, Westcott made his pro debut with the Saltdogs in 2015. He was 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA over 22 relief appearances in his rookie season. The righty pitched in eight games for Lincoln in 2016 before he was traded to the St. Paul Saints. Westcott finished ’16 with Windy City and stayed there for most of the next two seasons. He was 7-8 with a 3.67 ERA over 19 starts and 132.1 innings in 2018.
Then, Lincoln was part of a three-way trade on October 8th. The Saltdogs traded RHP Geoff Broussard to Sussex County (Can-Am League) and received INF Jake Vieth from Fargo-Moorhead as part of the deal. Vieth made his pro debut with the RedHawks this season. The lefty played in 10 games and went 8-33 with a double and two RBIs. The first baseman walked four times and scored five runs for the North Division squad. Vieth started for two seasons at Gonzaga University after playing at Tacoma Community College. He excelled as a senior, hitting .302 with 36 RBIs and a team-high 10 home runs. He did not make an error in 2018 and earned an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove award.
Thirdly, the Saltdogs traded INF Jamey Smart to Gateway (Frontier League) for future considerations. Smart finished his rookie season with the Saltdogs. He played in 16 games and went 10-45 with two doubles and four RBIs. He made his pro debut with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in June after a stellar career at Loyola Marymount (CA) University.
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.