The Cleburne Railroaders signed SP-L Rick Teasley to an unknown contract
The first year I really paid attention to the Australian Baseball League Rick Teasley was a starter for the Brisbane Bandits. The Bandits quickly became my team and through various factors, Teasley became a pitcher I really enjoyed. Following the 2015 season, Teasley returned to Brisbane but he wasn’t the same pitcher he had been the previous season. The next couple of years were disappointing for the former Tampa Bay Rays draft pick. He bounced around a few unaffiliated leagues and was hit around pretty easily in those leagues. Then he seemed to have found something for the 2018 season, and it appeared as if the changes he had made were going to stick.
Then the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League sold his contract to Pericos de Puebla of Liga Mexicana de Béisbol. Teasley was meant to build on his past couple of years of success and provide a spark to the Pericos pitching staff as they raced towards the playoffs. 15.1 innings and a 7.63 ERA later Teasley found himself on the outside looking in. He had gotten his shot and apparently blown it which meant that Teasley had to start from scratch all over again.
In his attempt to prove himself again Teasley returned to Australia and the Bandits. There he looked like the Teasley of old, as across 33.2 innings he posted a 2.14 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. That WHIP is really what is the key to Teasley’s performance. When Teasley is on he walks very few hitters and makes it a point of attacking the zone. With Puebla Teasley had trouble throwing strikes and when he did there were already people on base and with lesser versions of his fastball or changeup coming down the pipe the expected hammering took place.
The Railroaders want the pre and post-Puebla versions of Teasley. While Teasley showed versatility by occasionally pitching out of the pen for the Bandits that’s not what the Railroaders have in mind. He’s been brought to Cleburne to anchor the rotation of a team that just missed out on the American Association playoffs in 2019. If Teasley shows up and attacks hitters while showing off his typical control the Railroaders have gotten themselves an ace.
The Railroaders represent another step in the process for the Florida native. He’s shown at various times in his career that he has the ability to be a top of the line starter. There have been moments when Teasley has faltered and not been up to the challenge. The Railroaders need Teasley to rise above any potential challenges if 2020 is to be the season where they finally make it to the playoffs.
Lead photo courtesy of Brad Rathbone – News Corp Australia