05/10/2017 10:44 AM -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2017
April 10, 2017 — The Gary Southshore Railcats certainly look to be very competitive in the Central Division in 2017 knowing that their ace Charle Rosario is returning, but his return nearly did not happen.
“When I was playing winter ball in Colombia, I was not 100% sure if I was going to come back this year,” said Rosario. “I was pretty close [to retirement] because when Greg sent me the contract, I never told my wife . . . until my mother-in-law saw it.”
Eventually, Rosario told his wife that he intended to play this season. She encouraged him to play and wanted to come along as well. Unfortunately, he is in Gary by himself currently. Rosario plans on his family coming along for the ride later in the season.
The Railcats are very fortunate to have the 27-year-old right hander return as it is uncommon in independent professional baseball to have a declared ace for consecutive seasons. Manager Greg Tagert believes this feat has only occurred one other time during his 13 seasons in Gary. By the same token, Rosario is very humbled to be penciled in as opening day starter once again.
Rosario’s 2016 campaign played a big role in the Railcats’ seven-game improvement from the 2015 season as he led the team in wins (11), innings pitched (155.1) and complete games (4). Rosario also led the American Association with 24 games started. Despite the heavy workload, he wants to pitch more frequently in 2017.
“I think I can make more starts,” he said. “I don’t think I am going to ask for off days this season. I want to pitch every time that I can.”
One reason why Rosario has many opportunities to pitch is because Tagert utilizes a four-man starting rotation; a rare sight in modern professional baseball. Rosario enjoys the chance to pitch more often and thrives with the opportunity to do so.
“I like to pitch in a four-man rotation because I get to pitch more than when you have a five-man rotation as you pitch more consistently,” said Rosario. “You only have three days off, and then it’s you and the mound again. . . . I’m not complaining about it.”
Tagert’s four-man rotation requires a pitcher to be in great physical condition. Rosario mentions that he runs more in Gary than he did in the Boston Red Sox organization. He certainly is in top shape as he ran a 6:15 mile recently; his fastest time in three years.
“I think we run more here. We got to run every day. . .because we know we got to work to keep yourself in good shape,” he said. “I think that’s good for us, to run and do some working out after you pitch, or the day before you pitch, or two days before you pitch.”
He also finished the 2016 season with a 3.13 ERA, which was best for any Gary starter that had seven or more starts. Despite that low mark, Rosario’s goal is to lower his ERA below three.
Rosario is viewed as a leader both on and off the field. He understands that part of his role as being a veteran leader on the Railcats is to help other players of Latino descent get accustomed to the Gary Southshore Railcats organization.
“It’s easy for [these players] because they are going to feel comfortable to us because we are Latino, you know? They are not going to be afraid to come to us to talk and ask for something,” he said. “I am able to help them anytime they want.”
For the second straight year, the Railcats open their season on the road in St. Paul. In last season’s opening start against the Saints, Rosario gave up six runs in five innings. Rosario feels that he, and the team, are ready to take the next step this year, and it starts on opening day.
“I know [St. Paul] always has a pretty good team. I think this year we have the right team from the beginning. Last year, we built a pretty good team at the end of the season,” he said. “It’s going to be a good season for us.”
The RailCats season opener is on Thursday, May 18 against the St. Paul Saints. First pitch from CHS Field is at 7:05 p.m.
Jared Shlensky and Austin Anderson bring you all 100 RailCats games this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com.
Gary’s home opener is on Friday, May 26 vs. the Texas Airhogs. Friday’s game vs. the Airhogs is a Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday and features a free magnet schedule giveaway. The first 1,000 fans receive a free magnet schedule, courtesy of Great Lakes Orthopedics.
Fans can purchase tickets for RailCats home games by calling (219) 882-BALL or online at railcatsbaseball.com. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A day at U.S. Steel Yard is non-stop fun, and that's even without the baseball! The RailCats promise a wide array of laugh-out-loud between inning entertainment, great giveaways, jaw-dropping fireworks and a family-first, kid-friendly atmosphere! RailCats fans come in all ages, shapes, and sizes, and the RailCats promise every fan will have fun.
U.S. Steel Yard
One Stadium Plaza
Gary, IN 46402