Pro baseball

RailCats make moves to stay in playoff hunt

2013-07-22T21:00:00Z 2013-07-23T00:03:07Z RailCats make moves to stay in playoff huntHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

GARY | Before leaving for the most recent road trip, the RailCats coaching staff promised a few moves were in the works and would most likely be made while the team was out of town.

What even they didn't see coming was the release of Will Krout, the veteran and clubhouse captain of the pitching staff.

Krout became the odd man out when two pitchers -- reliever Estevan Uriegas and starter Stephen Hiscock -- were slated to come off the inactive list.

"Will had been with this club for three years nearly and that made this move as tough as any I've had to address during the season," manager Greg Tagert said. "When the decision was made, believe me, we thought long and hard at the time the move was made.

"What was tough is that he's somebody that cares so much about what we're doing here and puts in so much time and effort into what he does. That's exactly what we're looking for, and I think in this case ... when you try so hard and put so much pressure it became almost counterproductive."

In addition, the RailCats spent last week adding infielders Nick Liles and Ryan Brockett.

Brockett played four games last week after he was picked up from Schaumburg, collecting three hits. The addition of Liles completes a trade from last year that sent Hammond grad Mike Coles to Winnipeg. Liles was a .272 hitter with the Goldeyes, with 13 RBIs.

The catch is, none of the additions gave the RailCats what Tagert discussed were on his wish list before the road stretch. He had hoped to add a little power, someone to count on for doubles and triples.

"We wanted the best player available," Tagert said. "Were we looking for a guy that has a little bit of thump, absolutely. But we've had a lot of success with guys like Mike Massaro and Adam Klein and Brian Kolb and go down the list of guys who can do some things with the bat and do some things on the bases and this might be one of those years we're going to have to win as many games as we can with that type of lineup."

With the return of Hiscock, who spent nearly two months on the inactive list, the RailCats four-man rotation, which had grown recently to five, will likely vary to six to give Hiscock's more time to rest between starts.

Morgan Coombs, a reliever turned starter, remains on the disabled list as he recovers from shingles.

"We're going to use six starters and give Stephen five days off," Tagert said. "He's a valuable addition to our ballclub. We're going to do everything we can to protect him."

Boomer Potts, who was picked up when Uriegas went on the inactive list in June, was traded to Grand Pairie on Monday for a player to be named later.

Like with Winnipeg, the RailCats could cash in on that player later in the season if the AirHogs fall out of the South Division playoff race or could make the move in the offseason or next season.

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