It has been a busy week for the ThunderBolts, who have announced the signings of Zak Wasserman and Markus Solbach to the Arizona Diamondbacks as well as a Frontier League record for Mike Torres, who has played in the most consecutive games in league history.
Wasserman made his professional debut May 22 in a 12-4 loss to the Lake Erie Crushers. He pitched a hitless inning and a third, striking out two of the five batters he faced.
That appearance was his first outing as a pitcher in more than four years. After succeeding as a hurler in high school, Wasserman became a full-time first baseman at the University of Louisville, appearing in only three games on the mound in college, all as a freshman. He posted a 10.80 ERA that year for the Cardinals.
Solbach was off to a sensational start to 2014. After his three starts prior to being signed, he had allowed just four runs (two earned) in 21 innings of work and had given up only nine hits, good for an opponents’ batting average of .120. At the time of his signing, his 0.86 ERA was fifth in the Frontier League.
In ten appearances last year (five starts), he went 5-1 with a 3.27 ERA. His start in Washington on August 10 was the first of his career. He allowed one run on three hits over six innings. Washington was also the sight of his final Windy City start. He pitched there on Friday night and again gave up one run on three hits, this time over seven innings.
In Solbach’s Windy City career, he pitched in 13 total games and accumulated a 6-2 record and 2.45 ERA over 62.1 innings.
Solbach and Wasserman will join former ThunderBolts Jake Roberts and Blayne Weller in the Diamondbacks’ system.
On the same day Wasserman was signed by the Diamondbacks, Torres played in the Sunday game at Traverse City, his 285th straight game without a day off. That streak broke the Frontier League record for most consecutive games played that had previously been held by Stephen Holdren, who had played in 284 straight between 2009 and 2011.
Torres appeared in every game in during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and the last time he sat out was May 31, 2011. During the streak, which has now reached 293, he started at second base 286 times, shortstop four times and DH three. He has hit .292 over the stretch.
Torres has played in 393 total games for the Bolts since joining in 2010. That ties him with Zach Aakhus for the most in team history. He is also the team’s record holder in career hits.