Rockers Add Experienced Pitchers to Roster
LHP Westphal, RHP Gainey headed to High Point for 2021 season
HIGH POINT, N.C. March 24, 2021 – The High Point Rockers have added two pitchers to their roster for the 2021 season. Lefthander Luke Westphal and righty Preston Gainey will join the Rockers this year.
Westphal, 31, is a hard-throwing lefthander who has predominantly been a starter in recent years. He was considered the best pitching prospect in the American Association in 2019 while pitching for the Chicago Dogs. He went 11-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 2019 and was 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA last season.
While with the Dogs in 2020, Westphal’s catcher was Logan Moore who recently signed with the Rockers.
“Logan caught him last summer and loved him and (fellow Rocker) Tyler Ladendorf played behind him,” said Rockers’ manager Jamie Keefe. “These guys say No. 1, he works quick and No. 2, he attacks hitters. As a player, you love playing behind those guys. He threw the ball fantastic last year. Luke is a guy who commands the strike zone, attacks hitters and works really fast.”
The Clintonville, Wisc. native pitched at Wisconsin-Oshkosh and turned pro in 2013 with Gateway of the Frontier League. Westphal spent two seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, going 9-8 between A and AA classifications. He has a career record of 31-31 and has struck out 614 batters in just 508 innings of work.
Gainey, 30, who hails from Pompano Beach, Fla., pitched collegiately at the U.S. Naval Academy. He has spent time as both a starter and reliever but has worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent seasons. Gainey was selected in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and spent six seasons in the Brewers organization including two seasons at AA Biloxi of the Southern League.
This will be a comeback season for Gainey who has not pitched professionally since the 2017 season. He suffered an elbow injury during spring training of 2018 and underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
“Preston’s been recovering from Tommy John surgery and he’s been rehabbing and working really hard,” said Keefe. “He’s had good numbers wherever he’s pitched. I’m looking forward to bringing him in and seeing what he can do during spring training.”
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 the 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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