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WSI News - News Watch

Ritchie coming to town

December 13th, WSI STAFF

The gambling (some would say mentally challenged) man Kenny Williams struck again on Thursday. One day after coming oh so close to Darrin Erstad he trades for Pirates right-hander Todd Ritchie and Lee Evans a minor league catcher.

Ritchie went 11-15 with a 4.47 in 2001 after starting the year 0-8. He pitched in 207.1 innings racking up 124 strike outs to go along with 52 walks. However he did allow 211 hits playing for the National League's worst team.

Coming over with Ritchie will be 24 year old minor league catcher Lee Evans, batted .248 (106-428) with 11 home runs, 48 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 118 games at Class AA Altoona. Over six seasons in the Pittsburgh farm system, the switch-hitting Evans is a career .240 hitter with 47 home runs and 253 RBI in 581 games.

"We're very pleased to acquire Todd Ritchie and Lee Evans," said Sox GM Kenny Williams. "We felt it was vital, at our stage of development, to get a guy of this caliber. It's not just a top notch pitcher we're acquiring, as I understand, in Lloyd McClendon's (Pirates manager) words, we are acquiring a top notch person. That's very important to our mix and we're happy to have him.

"With our club capable of being able to score the way we think we're going to, getting Frank back into the mix next year, our guys were projecting somewhere between 15 and 18 wins from Ritchie. And that's exactly what we need to put right behind Mark Buerhle in our rotation."

Going to Pittsburgh in exchange for Ritchie is Kip Wells, Sean Lowe, and Josh Fogg.

Wells, was 10-11 with a 4.79 ERA  in 40 games (20 starts) in 2001. The right-hander is 20-21 with a 5.14 ERA in 67 career games over three seasons with the Sox.

"When we sign a guy like Kip from amature status and develop him, it's always hard to let go, especially from my former position as the minor league director," said Williams. "A guy that has the upside of Kip Wells, along with the other two guys, makes it hard.

"Honestly, Wells was a guy that (Pirates GM) Dave (Littlefield) and his people set their targets on primarily. He stuck to his guns and we got to the point where we had to put up or shut to get the darn thing done."

Lowe, was 9-4 with a 3.61 ERA  in 45 games (11 starts) with the Sox. Fogg,  was 0-0 with a 2.03 ERA  in 11 games with the White Sox and 4-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 40 games (16 starts) at Class AAA Charlotte.


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