[Via email from the Charlotte Stone Crabs' Marketing Manager Jonathan Gantt.]
The Charlotte Stone Crabs added third baseman Matt Sweeney to their current roster after the left-handed hitter was included in a trade between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Tampa Bay Rays for former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir on Friday night.
Sweeney, 21, hit .299 (63-for-211) this season for Rancho Cucamonga (A) with nine homers, 44 RBI, a .379 on-base pct. and .517 slugging pct. while playing third base and designated hitter. The left-handed hitter was sidelined the entire 2008 season while recovering from ankle surgery, and this year spent more than two months on the disabled list with a right hip injury. The two-time minor league All-Star was selected in the eighth round of the 2006 June Draft out of Rockville, Md. He was part of a deal that will send three Angels prospects to the Rays including pitcher Alex Torres and a player to be named later.
The Stone Crabs started a six-game road trip yesterday with stops in Sarasota and Jupiter, so Sweeney will most likely make his Charlotte Sports Park debut when the team returns home on Friday, September 4, for Fan Appreciation Weekend. The three-game, weekend homestand against the Sarasota Reds will feature hundreds of giveaways, merchandise sales and postgame fireworks on Saturday.
Charlotte is currently three games back of first-place Fort Myers in the second half standings, but the Stone Crabs also hold a six-game lead over St. Lucie in the overall season standings, which would grant them a playoff berth if Fort Myers repeats as division champion. The Stone Crabs have 10 games left to play, and their magic number for a wild card berth currently sits at six.
Tickets for the remaining three regular season home games and possible playoff games are currently on sale and start at just $5. Fans can call 941-206-HITS (4487), visit the Charlotte Sports Park box office or stonecrabsbaseball.com for ticket information.