Area Baseball update

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Staff report
Keep an eye out for familiar names from the area now that baseball season is in full swing:
• Outfielder Jerry Sands (Catawba) is opening the season with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple A farm club. The Isotopes open on Thursday against Omaha.
Lefty pitcher Spencer Steedley (East Rowan) is opening the season in the bullpen of the New Britain Rock Cats, Minnesota’s Double A team. Steedley, who turns 26 at the end of May, hopes to stay healthy this season. He lost most of 2010 to elbow surgery.
Second baseman Kyle Seager (NW Cabarrus, UNC) was assigned to Seattle’s Double A farm club, the Jackson (Miss.) Generals of the Southern League. Seager’s former UNC teammate Dustin Ackley is one level above him in the Seattle chain and also playing second base, so a trade of Seager is a real possibility.
Second baseman Daniel Wagner (South Rowan) is opening the season with the Winston-Salem Dash, the advanced A team for the Chicago White Sox. Winston-Salem opens Friday at Kinston.
Wade Moore (West Rowan, Catawba) is with the Hagerstown Suns, a full-season Class A team in the South Atlantic League. He’ll be in the same outfield as Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in last summer’s draft.
The Suns play in Rome, Ga., on Thursday. Hagerstown visits Kannapolis May 29-31. If Harper is still in Hagerstown at that point, it could mean three sellouts for the Intimidators. There will be quite a few West and Catawba fans there to see Moore as well.
Infielder Chris Ahearn (Catawba) has been assigned to the Rome Braves, Atlanta’s affiliate in the South Atlantic League.
The Oakland A’s released outfielder David Thomas (Catawba), a 14th-round pick in 2008. Thomas, 24, batted .259 with 126 runs scored, 103 RBIs, 11 homers, nine triples and 46 doubles in his pro career, despite injuries. One of the all-time greats in the SAC, he could get a shot with another organization.
No announcements yet on several local players, including Royals pitcher Rudy Brown (South), Rays outfielder Craige Lyerly (East, Catawba) and Braves catcher Ryan Query (A.L. Brown, Catawba). They could remain in extended spring training until short-season leagues begin after the June draft.