LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Brian Loconsole today. The Saltdogs placed infielder Cesar Valera on the Inactive List and moved RHP Shairon Martis to the Disabled List as well.
Loconsole joins the Saltdogs after putting up career-high numbers with the Windy City Thunderbolts in 2017. The righty was 1-4 with a 2.23 ERA over 42 appearances for the Frontier League squad. He earned All-Star recognition and set the franchise saves record with 27 closes despite missing the last 11 games of the season with injury. Loconsole’s saves total was six higher than anyone else in the league. His most dominant stretch was from May 28-July 9 when he didn’t surrender an earned run. He set a career-high with 55 strikeouts over 44.1 innings – good for an outstanding 11.2 K/9.
Loconsole also pitched for Windy City in 2016, going 1-3 with a 4.34 ERA over 38 games.
Before his time in the Frontier League, Loconsole was a prospect in the Angels organization. He compiled a career record of 10-7 with a 4.25 ERA over four seasons with the Angels. He reached as high as High-A Inland Empire. The Chicago-native’s best season was with the Burlington Bees in 2014. He was 5-4 with a 1.68 ERA in 34 appearances.
Loconsole turned heads as a senior at Western Illinois University. He registered a 3-2 record with a 2.86 ERA in a team-high 22 appearances. He tallied nine saves while holding opponents to just a .242 batting average. He was drafted in the 20th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Angels.
Martis heads to the DL after making just one appearance in the opening series. The former Big Leaguer allowed three runs on three hits while only getting two outs in the season opener. The righty is entering his fourth season with the Saltdogs and is 19-12 with a 3.34 ERA for the club. He is third all-time in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched.
Valera heads to the Inactive List before playing in a game in 2018. The second baseman was an American Association All-Star in 2017 and one of the most productive bats in the league. He led the team with a .327 batting average while hitting four home runs and collecting 52 RBIs. He racked up the extra-base hits, adding 19 doubles and seven triples to his numbers. Valera played in 98 of the team’s 100 regular season games and was a whiz defensively, registering a .980 fielding percentage.
The Saltdogs start a three-game series against the Wichita Wingnuts tonight at Haymarket Park. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com/stream.