Sioux City, IA (April 14th, 2022) — The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signing of LHP Blaine Hardy to a 2022 American Association contract.
The 2022 season will be Hardy’s fourteenth season in professional baseball and his first with the Explorers.
Hardy is a seasoned major league veteran having spent seven campaigns in the show. Six of those came with the Detroit Tigers and one came with the Milwaukee Brewers last year. Over that stretch of time Hardy is 14-11 in 234 games, 13 starts, with a career 3.78 ERA. He threw 290.2 big league innings, tallied 230 strikeouts and walked only 103. In his career he has collected strikeouts of a pair of MVP’s, Mookie Betts and Kris Bryant.
Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 22nd round of the 2008 MLB draft out of Lewis-Clark State College, a NAIA baseball powerhouse in Idaho. The southpaw spent his first five professional seasons with the Royals, promoted as high as Triple-A, Omaha.
He latched on with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, and was promoted to the big league club the following season in 2014. Hardy made his big league debut on June 16, 2014 against the team that drafted him. He tossed two shutout innings in his debut and struck out the first two batters he faced.
The Seattle, Washington natives most prolific season with Detroit came in 2015, the only season in which he stayed with the big league club for the entirety of the campaign. He pitched in 70 games and accumulated a 3.08 ERA in 61.1 innings with 55 strike outs.
In 2018 the Tigers expanded the now 35 year olds role into the starting rotation where he made thirteen starts. As a starter he went 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA, logged 67.2 innings with 47 strikeouts to 16 walks with opponents hitting .256.
His final season with Detroit came in 2019. He was picked up by the Twins for the 2020 season that never happened.
Last season Hardy signed on with the Brewers organization. He pitched in one game for Milwaukee against the Pittsburgh Pirates in August. The second batter he faced in the game was former Sioux City Explorer infielder, John Nogowski whom he got to pop out.
The rest of the season Hardy was in Triple-A Nashville. He pitched in 30 games, making eight starts and fashioned a 2.63 ERA and a 6-6 record. He struck out 64 in 68.1 innings.
With the addition of LHP Blaine Hardy the Explorers have now signed fourteen players (9 pitchers, 5 position players) to a 2022 contract.
RHP Matteo Bocchi
LHP Blaine Hardy
RHP Zach Hedges
LHP Patrick Ledet
RHP Luis Madero
RHP Thomas McIlraith
RHP Carlos Sierra
RHP Michael Slaten
RHP Jonah Smith
INF Nate Samson
INF Blake Tiberi
OF Chase Harris
OF Ademar Rifaela
OF Sebastian Zawada