Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signing of right-handed pitchers Raul Rivera and Rob Nixon for the 2015 season.
Rivera, 24, pitched in the Houston Astros system last season at two Single-A levels. In 19 relief appearances with Class A Short-Season Tri-City of the New York/Penn League, he went 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA and posted 32 strikeouts in as many innings. He also appeared in three games for Class A Quad Cities of the Midwest League and sported a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings.
“He’s an experienced bullpen arm,” Forney said. “He’s played many years and had a lot of success. He just kind of ran out of time in an organization. He’s been really successful at a lot of lower levels. He’s a good strike thrower that pounds the zone with a sinking fastball.”
Rivera was drafted by the Astros in the 37th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft and played five seasons in their system at the Rookie and Class A levels. He has a career 4.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 122 innings pitched.
Nixon, 26, is a Canadian from North York, Ontario. He went 1-6 with a 4.86 ERA in 32 relief appearances in the Cleveland Indians organization with Class A-Advanced Carolina and Class AA Akron.
“We’re going to take a look at him as a starter,” Forney said. “He was a great starter in college at Adelphi University, won a lot of baseball games and was extremely successful there. He’s one of those guys with 90-plus velocity with a slider, curveball, and a decent change-up.”
Nixon was drafted by the Indians in the 46th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft and played four seasons in their organization. During his college career with Adelphi, he went 28-9 with a 2.61 ERA in 57 appearances, including 37 starts.
The Goldeyes now have 25 players signed for the 2015 season, including 13 pitchers and 12 position players.