WICHITA, KS – The Lincoln Saltdogs announced they traded infielder Chase Simpson to the Cleburne Railroaders in exchange for right-handed pitcher Cortland Cox yesterday.
Cox is in his sixth professional season and owns a 21-9 record and 3.51 ERA in 122 appearances. The right-hander pitched in 16 games for Cleburne this season, posting a 3-0 record with a 5.00 ERA. He boasts 21 strikeouts compared to seven walks over 18 innings of work.
The California native was one of the top relievers in the American Association in 2017. He was 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA over 37 games. He showed the ability to go multiple innings and posted 66 strikeouts over 51.2 innings pitched. Cox’s numbers were good enough to have his contract purchased, the first time in Railroaders history, by the Angels organization in the offseason. He made one appearance for Double-A Mobile before the Angels released him.
The 23-year-old spent four seasons with the Indians organization after Cleveland picked him in the 32nd round in the 2013 draft. Cox reached Double-A Akron in 2016. His best season was in 2015 when he went 5-2 with a 1.54 ERA over 18 games at three different levels.
The Saltdogs are familiar with Cox, having seen him eight times with the Railroaders. Cox is 1-0 with a 4.36 ERA against Lincoln including a 3.00 ERA in 2018.
Simpson was putting up career-best numbers with the Saltdogs. The switch-hitter batted .277 with six home runs and 22 RBIs over 41 games. Simpson got off to an incredible start with Lincoln, leading the league in slugging percentage and on-base percentage through 14 games. Maybe his greatest game happened on May 28th at Winnipeg. The Texan launched home runs as a right-handed hitter and as a lefty. Simpson was just 3-18 over his final five games with the Saltdogs. He played primarily as a third baseman.
Simpson spent parts of four seasons in the Pirates’ organization. He played in 43 games at Double-A Altoona in 2017 after spending the first three years of his career moving up through the different Single-A ranks. In his Pirates’ career, Simpson hit a combined .242 with 30 homers and 159 RBIs over 299 games.
The Saltdogs (25-20) take on the St. Paul Saints in a three-game road series starting tonight in the Twin Cities. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.