Halbohn and Stem Return to the Rockers
ROCKERS BRINGING BACK PAIR OF VETERAN PITCHERS
Halbohn and Stem returning to High Point after reaching playoffs in 2019
High Point, N.C. March 10, 2021 – The High Point Rockers have signed a pair of veteran pitchers who both pitched for the Rockers during the playoff run in the 2019 season. Reliever Kyle Halbohn and starter Craig Stem will both return for the 2021 season.
Halbohn, 28, is a 6-8 righthander who has excelled as a reliever in professional baseball. He was a member of the Rockers’ opening day roster in 2019 before being moved to the Chicago Dogs of the American Association in May, 2019. Halbohn appeared in 36 games with the Dogs, going 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA and earning 14 saves. He returned to the Rockers in September, 2019, becoming an integral part of High Point’s bullpen during the run to the playoffs. Halbohn went 1-0 with a career-best 1.89 ERA in 15 appearances for the Rockers in 2019.
“Kyle is probably the hardest worker we had in 2019,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “He made the team out of spring training and threw the ball well for us during the year but we knew we weren’t going to be able to get him great innings. We moved him to the American Association and he wound up becoming the closer in Chicago and did a fantastic job for (manager) Butch (Hobson). We were able to re-acquire him at the end of the year because we needed arms. Kyle never missed a beat and he actually pitched better because his confidence was higher. He threw the ball really well in the playoffs. He’s a very good person, a super hard worker, a joy to be around every day. He always has a smile on his face, and is very upbeat, a great teammate.”
Halbohn, a native of North Massapequa, N.Y. pitched collegiately at Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist, Belmont Abbey and Kansas State. He started in affiliated baseball with the Yankees organization in 2016 and rose through their ranks before joining the Los Angeles Angels farm system. For his career, Halbohn owns a 16-10 record in 152 career appearances with 294 strikeouts in just 274 career innings.
Stem, 31, returns to the Rockers after making four starts for High Point during the stretch run of the 2019 season. The 6-5 righty struck out 28 batters in 24.1 innings of work while walking just eight. A veteran of the Atlantic League, Stem was an all-star with Southern Maryland in 2019 while going 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA. The Rockers acquired him in September for the critical final weeks of the regular season and the playoffs.
Stem, starting his fifth year in the Atlantic League, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2011 Draft out of Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.). A native of Old Hickory, Tenn., Stem moved upwards through the Dodgers’ farm system before being traded to the Miami Marlins following the 2014 system. He reached AAA with New Orleans in the Marlins’ system during the 2015 season. Stem won a career-high seven games with Southern Maryland in 2018 and has 17 career wins in the Atlantic League.
“Stemmer had a few starts towards the end of the 2019 season and he and Joe Van Meter were our No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers going into the playoffs,” said Keefe. “He threw the ball outstanding. Craig’s a guy that likes to pitch to contact. He can strikeout a guy when he needs to, but he pitches to contact and trusts his defense behind him. And with the defense we’re going to put behind these guys this year, I think there’s some excitement. He knows who we have coming in and who we’re going to have in that infield and he’s excited. We will throw him right in the middle of that rotation again.”
The Rockers will begin their second season of play on Friday, May 28 when they visit the York Revolution. The home opener at Truist Point is slated for Tuesday, June 1 vs. the Lexington Legends, one of two new teams to join the Atlantic League in 2021. High Point’s schedule includes 120 games with 60 contests slated for Truist Point.
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