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SALTDOGS BASEBALL: Lincoln Makes A Flurry Of Pre-Season Moves

By Michael Dixon

LINCOLN, Neb. (April 2)– The Saltdogs have signed LHP Kyle Kinman, RHP Ricky Knapp and acquired INF Cody Regis from Fargo-Moorhead in exchange for RHP J.R. Bunda and LHP Kevin Grendell, the club has announced.

Kinman, 28, is an Omaha native and will return to the ‘Dogs for his second season. A former 25th-round pick of the Atlanta Braves out of Bellevue (NE) University in 2014, Kinman pitched three seasons in the Braves organization from 2014-16 – reaching Double-A Mississippi in 2015 and 2016.

Last year, Kinman went 6-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 21 appearances and 15 starts. The left-hander totaled 87.2 innings and gave up 41 runs on 84 hits with 44 walks and 65 strikeouts.

In his affiliated career, Kinman is 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA across 76 relief appearances.

Knapp, 26, spent each of the last six seasons in the Mets organization, reaching Triple-A Las Vegas in two different seasons.

Knapp, a Florida native who was also drafted by the Mets in the 44th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Port Charlotte High School, has a career 35-33 record with a 3.88 ERA in 123 appearances and 95 starts across his six seasons of pro baseball.

Knapp posted sub-3 ERAs in his separate stints at the High-A and Double-A levels, and had a 3.52 ERA in 43 appearances at the Single-A level. Knapp struggled during his two seasons of AAA baseball, with a 5.92 ERA across 28 total appearances across two seasons.

Knapp excelled at Florida Gulf Coast, earning A-Sun Pitcher of the Year in 2012 and consecutive first-team A-Sun All Conference selections in 2012 and 2013. Across those two seasons, Knapp had an 18-7 record with a 2.23 ERA in 29 appearances (28 starts).

Regis, 27, went undrafted after four years at UCLA but ended up playing the 2015 and 2016 seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization after he signed as a free agent.

Regis spent each of the last two years with the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League, where he clubbed 36 homers – including a career-best 22 home runs last season. Regis owns a career .283/.351/.502 slugging percentage with 36 homers and 120 RBIs across his two seasons of independent baseball.

Heading to Fargo-Moorhead in the Regis trade is RHP J.R. Bunda, who went 16-1 in his 75 career relief appearances with Lincoln from 2016-2018. In his minor-league career, Bunda is 26-5 with a 2.51 ERA and spent parts of two seasons in the Pacific Association before he was acquired by the Saltdogs.

The Saltdogs begin their 19th season on May 16th at the Sioux City Explorers. The team opens the 2019 home schedule at Haymarket Park on Thursday, May 23rd. For more information on the ‘Dogs, follow the team on Facebook and on Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.

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