Shirley, Gardner Back in the Barn

Two rotation starters return to Lancaster for 2018

(Lancaster, Pa., Jan. 25, 2018) - Starting pitchers Joe Gardner and Tommy Shirley will return to the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2018, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

Gardner and Shirley become the fourth and fifth players under contract to the Barnstormers for the upcoming season, the second with Peeples at the helm.

For Gardner, 2018 will mark his fifth season in a Lancaster uniform but the first time he has begun the campaign in Lancaster. The right-hander from Fremont, CA has arrived in the second half in each of the last two seasons. His longest stretch with the Barnstormers came in 2015 when he went 9-6 in 19 starts. He was 3-4 during Lancaster’s second half drive last year.

Overall, Gardner, who will be 30 when the season begins, is 18-13 with a 4.27 ERA in 43 games (41 starts) in his four prior stints with Lancaster.

Originally signed by the Cleveland Indians out of UC-Santa Barbara, Gardner won 13 games at the Class A level his first pro season in 2010. Following his time with the Indians, the right-hander spent more than two seasons with the Colorado Rockies system, pitching at Class AA Tulsa.

His contract was purchased initially by the Chicago Cubs from the Barnstormers in 2014 and later by the Atlanta Braves that same season.

“Joe is a gamer,” said Peeples. “He is a guy who loves to compete and always wants the ball, and I love that about him.”

Following impressive work in spring training, Shirley, 29, opened the 2017 season in the Barnstormers starting rotation but injured his left shoulder during his first start against Somerset. The southpaw from Western Pennsylvania returned to action at the end of June and strung together three wins in a span of four starts in August. He finished with a 3-5 record and 6.57 ERA for the year.

Prior to coming to Lancaster, Shirley pitched for the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers farm systems, peaking at Class AAA Oklahoma City and Fresno with the Astros. The Xavier University product’s best stretch came with Class AA Corpus Christi in 2014, going 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA.

He was 7-7 for Fresno and 1-0 for Class AA Erie (Tigers) in 2016.

“Tommy looked very good in spring training,” said Peeples. “We are looking forward to seeing what he can do over a full year when he’s healthy.”

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers have completed their thirteenth season as a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Home games are played at Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit for more information.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.

For more information, please visit



Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015