McGILL, MACHADO RETURN TO DEFEND TITLE

The Lincoln Saltdogs announced on Friday that catcher Shawn McGill and shortstop Albenis Machado will return to Haymarket Park in 2010.  Lincoln also announced the retirement of pitcher Carter Clements.

McGill enters his third season with the Saltdogs, and is coming off an All-Star campaign.  He hit .270 with seven home runs, 48 RBI, 58 walks and 22 stolen bases in the regular season last year, and followed that up with two homers and six RBI in postseason play.  Shawn begins 2010 just four home runs shy of the team record for a catcher, currently held by Kevin Sullivan.

“Shawn brings a unique skill set to the table for a catcher,” said Saltdogs manager Marty Scott.  “He’s a good run producer, but he’s also excellent at getting on base, and you hardly ever see catchers who can steal 20+ bases in a season.  He’s also good at handling a pitching staff, and one of the hardest workers on the team.”

Machado comes into 2010 two and a half years into his second stint with the Saltdogs.  He hit .277 with two home runs, 34 RBI, 55 walks and 20 stolen bases last season.  In the playoffs, Albenis drove in four runs and scored five more, helping Lincoln capture its first-ever championship.

“You have to start with defense when you talk about Albenis,” Scott said.  “He made some players last year that were unbelievable, including that catch in Jarrett Gardner’s no-hitter.  Championship teams are strong up the middle, and he gives us veteran leadership at one of the most important positions on the field.  At the plate, he has a good eye for the strike zone and gets on base any way he can.  He did a great job in the two-hole for us last year.”

Lincoln also announced the retirement of Clements, a right-handed pitcher.  The Saltdogs had acquired Clements from Sussex during the offseason.

The Saltdogs now have 26 players on their roster, one shy of the maximum that American Association teams may carry into spring training.  Teams must cut down to 23 players by Opening Day, and after two weeks, the rosters must be cut to 22 players for the remainder of the season.

Season Ten of Saltdogs Baseball begins on May 13 in Sioux Falls, with the home opener scheduled for May 25 against Wichita.  For more team and ticket information, go to www.saltdogs.com.



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