LHP Westphal, RHP Gainey headed to High Point for 2021 season
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers have added two pitchers to their roster for the 2021 season. Lefthander Luke Westphal and righty Preston Gainey will join the Rockers this year.
Westphal, 31, is a hard-throwing lefthander who has predominantly been a starter in recent years. He was considered the best pitching prospect in the American Association in 2019 while pitching for the Chicago Dogs. He went 11-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 2019 and was 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA last season.
While with the Dogs in 2020, Westphal’s catcher was Logan Moore who recently signed with the Rockers.
The Clintonville, Wisc. native pitched at Wisconsin-Oshkosh and turned pro in 2013 with Gateway of the Frontier League. Westphal spent two seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, going 9-8 between A and AA classifications. He has a career record of 31-31 and has struck out 614 batters in just 508 innings of work.
Gainey, 30, who hails from Pompano Beach, Fla., pitched collegiately at the U.S. Naval Academy. He has spent time as both a starter and reliever but has worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent seasons. Gainey was selected in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and spent six seasons in the Brewers organization including two seasons at AA Biloxi of the Southern League.
This will be a comeback season for Gainey who has not pitched professionally since the 2017 season. He suffered an elbow injury during spring training of 2018 and underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
“Preston’s been recovering from Tommy John surgery and he’s been rehabbing and working really hard,” said Keefe. “He’s had good numbers wherever he’s pitched. I’m looking forward to bringing him in and seeing what he can do during spring training.”
The Rockers will begin their second season of play on Friday, May 28 when they visit the York Revolution. The home opener at Truist Point is slated for Tuesday, June 1 vs. the Lexington Legends, one of the two new teams to join the Atlantic League in 2021. High Point’s schedule includes 120 games with 60 contests slated for Truist Point.
About High Point Baseball, Inc.
High Point Baseball, aka the High Point Rockers, began their inaugural season in the Atlantic League in 2019 with their home opener on May 2, in a brand new approximately $36M downtown ballpark, Truist Point, originally named BB&T Point. Enhancing the rich baseball history in North Carolina, High Point Baseball is part of the fastest gowing family sport in America. High Point Baseball is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable fa ily entertainment experiences for the Triad of North Carolina. With seven players having their contract purchased and earning the 2019 Ballpark of the Year as well as Mascot of the Year (HYPE, The Rocking Horse), the High Point Rockers have built a fun and competitive atmosphere in both High Point and the Atlantic League.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The ALPB is a Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. Through its partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment and collaborates on marketing and technology initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 42 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.