LINCOLN – Record-setting closer Marshall Schuler is coming back to the Saltdogs. The 27-year old right-hander that secured an American Association record 34 saves in 2014 signed with Lincoln Friday and will be in the bullpen for Friday night’s series opener against Grand Prairie.
Schuler spent the first part of the 2015 season pitching in Mexico, most recently with the Mexico Red Devils of the top tier Mexican League.
The Anaheim native went 4-6 with a 4.26 ERA, striking out 51 hitters in a franchise-record 50 games in 2014, helping lead the Saltdogs to the Central division title and an appearance in the American Association Championship Series.
Schuler was 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in five games for the Red Devils this summer. In four seasons as an independent ball reliever, Schuler has locked down 65 saves with a 16-15 record in 166 games. With his mid-90’s fastball, he has averaged 8.5 strikeouts-per-nine innings, and has posted a 1.31 WHIP.
TWO MORE PITCHERS SIGNED
The Saltdogs also signed LHP Ryan Strufing, a true rookie out of Long Beach State University. A native of Niwot, Colo., Strufing earned a spot in the starting rotation as a freshman for the “Dirtbags,” and truly excelled as the Saturday night starter during his sophomore campaign in 2012.
Strufing went 7-3 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 starts to earn honorable mention All-Big West conference honors, helping Long Beach to a Big West-best 3.08 team ERA.
The 23-year old wrapped his collegiate career this spring at 10-6 overall, with a 4.04 ERA in 40 games pitched.
Lincoln also inked RHP Casey Collins, who began this season pitching in the Pecos League. The 6-foot-5 righty went 2-5 with a 4.32 ERA in 60 1/3 innings for Las Cruces, striking out 52 and walking 19.
A native of Glendale, Ariz., the 23-year old Collins finished his collegiate career at New Mexico State University in 2013 and pitched for White Sands of the Pecos League in 2014.
To keep the roster at the maximum-allowable 22 players, the Saltdogs: released RHP Zach Arneson; moved 1B C.J. Ziegler to the inactive list; placed OF Jon Gaston (wrist) on the disabled list, retroactive to July 8.