Trio of RiverDogs Pitchers to Join Charleston skip and Pitching Coach Justin Pope in Lexington for 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game
CHARLESTON, SC – The South Atlantic League has announced that Charleston RiverDogs skipper Luis Dorante will manage the Southern Division All-Star team while being joined by RiverDogs pitching coach Justin Pope and three Charleston pitchers selected to the 57th annual event taking place on Tuesday, June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington.
Led by Dorante, now in his third year with the club and his fifth season in the Yankees organization, the RiverDogs have jumped out to a 33-22 record on the season with a five game lead in their division. Charleston holds the second best record in the league surpassed only by Hagerstown. The RiverDogs jumped out to a red hot start in the month of April, going 16-6 in the first month of the season to grab a stranglehold on the division right out of the gates. The RiverDogs have held at least a share of the division lead every day other than the third day of the season.
In his first year with the club and his seventh with the Yankees, Pope has helped guide a RiverDogs pitching staff that ranks first in the league with a 3.06 ERA and 542 strikeouts, an average of 10 Ks per nine innings and a total that is a full 42 more than the next closest club. Charleston pitching also leads the league in fewest hits allowed (377) and WHIP (1.15) while allowing the third fewest home runs (22).
Whether it’s been as a starter or in relief, Carroll has been as steady of a pitcher in the RiverDogs rotation to earn the first All-Star accolades of his career. In 11 appearances (five starts), the Mount Juliet, TN native is 2-2 with a 2.68 ERA while striking out 45 batters in 47 innings to go along with 24 walks. The former Southern Miss Golden Eagle was taken in the 22nd round of last summer’s draft and debuted in rookie ball Pulaski where he found immediate success to start his pro career. The 6’5” righty posted a 1-1 record with a 1.75 ERA while finishing the year with seven consecutive scoreless appearances (14.2 IP).
Vargas also joins the RiverDogs All-Star cast in the summer showcase after notching a 4-2 record with a 2.23 ERA on the season that ranks eighth in the league. The righty out of Azua, Dominican Republic has punched out 39 batters while walking 19 in 44.1 innings with opponents hitting a measly .191 against him, a mark that ranks fifth best in the SAL. Now in his fifth year in the Yankees system after signing as a minor league free agent in 2013,Vargas is in his second stint with the RiverDogs after earning a late season call up to make his Single-A debut last season with Charleston in August of 2015.
Joining Carroll and Vargas in the 57th annual summer classic will be RiverDogs closer Andrew Schwaab. The former Missouri Tiger has been solid at the backend of the Charleston bullpen, logging a 4-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in 18 appearances. The 23-year-old native of O’Fallon, MO has struck out an impressive 24 hitters in 20 innings while walking just four. Schwaab’s nine saves ranks tied for third in the league and his 17 games finished is the second most of any pitcher in the league. The SEC product signed with the Yankees as an undrafted free agent last summer and split time between the rookie ball Gulf Coast League Yankees and Pulaski where he accrued a 2-1 record with a 1.16 ERA in 17 appearances over his first two stops in the minor leagues.
The first-place RiverDogs continue their three-game road stint against the Rome Braves (22-34) starting on Monday night at 7:05pm, before returning to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park for a seven-game homestand against the Asheville Tourists and Augusta GreenJackets.
Ticket information for the RiverDogs’ homestand can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com. Those that can’t make it to the park can follow every pitch of the RiverDogs season on WTMA 1250 AM and streaming online at riverdogs.com.