EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -The Evansville Otters have signed pitcher Tyler Vail to a contract extension for the 2020 season.
Vail, the Easton, Pa. native, comes back to the Otters for what will be his fifth season overall with the franchise.
Vail was with the Otters from 2015 to 2016 before signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and then returned to Evansville for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
“Tyler’s consistency throughout his career with us has been a big factor in the Otters’ success,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said.
“It feels great to come back to Evansville and play in front of a great fan base,” Vail said.
The Otters coaching staff use Vail in several roles on the pitching staff and as one of the experienced leaders on the team, he has handled the bullpen communication for the team on days when he isn’t starting.
After spending time in early May in the bullpen in the 2019 season, Vail transitioned back to the starting rotation, having a career year on the mound.
The right-hander went 5-5 with a career-best 2.78 ERA, making 11 starts in 18 total appearances. In 81.0 innings pitched, Vail struck out 84 batters.
“Tyler’s turnaround after May was instrumental to our playoff run,” McCauley said. “With moving (Patrick) McGuff and (Randy) Wynne in a week, Tyler stepped up when we needed him most.”
“His dominance from June to September was impressive.”
In 2019, Vail also had one complete game and two outings with 10 strikeouts, one against Schaumburg and the other against Windy City.
Vail also became the Otters' franchise career leader in strikeouts with 331. Plus, Vail holds Otters’ career records in wins, games started, and innings pitched.
Vail says he is excited about the 2020 season and getting to play in new venues with the Frontier League expanding toward the Northeast and to 14 teams in the league.
“I am grateful of the coaching staff and front office of the Otters for letting me live out my dream of playing professional baseball for another season,” Vail said.
Evansville will host Opening Night from Bosse Field against the Gateway Grizzlies May 15 at 6:35 p.m. Preseason exhibitions will begin May 2 for the Otters. The annual Education Day games will be May 6 and May 13 at 10 a.m.
Courtesy: Evansville Otters