The Jackson Hammerheads‘ seemingly endless quest to bolster their bullpen continued today, as they acquired left-hander Tobias Dennis from the New Orleans Sazeracs in exchange for C Hong Thomasson. It’s the second trade within two months between the two teams, who swapped starter Yu Chen for reliever Boss Walker in June.
“The Sultan strikes again!” exulted Hammerheads owner/whiz-kid GM Steven Butler. “They might as well FedEx us the championship trophy, because it’s going to be ours!”
Dennis has been the Sazeracs’ most reliable fireman by far this season. In 59 innings, the 26-year-old southpaw has gone 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a .661 OPS against. New Orleans selected Dennis in the expansion draft from Knoxville, where he went 7-2 with a 4.35 ERA in 2015.
“We really appreciate everything Tobias Dennis has done for us,” said Sazeracs owner Jeff Wiggins. “We’re glad to give him an opportunity to go after another ring.”
Dennis seems likely to work the late innings for Jackson. He joins a pen that’s crowded from the left side, however; Walker, Hilton Sircy, Rick Sheen, Josh Nichols, Brett Pollan, and Woody Flowers are all left-handed; closer Bobby Boniface is the only righty currently in the Heads’ relief corps.
“I can get both lefties and righties out,” said Dennis. “I’m up for whatever role they want to use me in.”
In trading Thomasson, Jackson sends out a fan favorite, albeit one who received little playing time behind Clarence Doyle. The 27-year-old Thomasson appeared in only 15 games for the Hammerheads this season, batting .276 with a .902 OPS. He has a reputation as a strong hitter but a weak fielder. For New Orleans, which has struggled to generate offense behind the dish, Thomasson could be just what the doctor ordered. Starter Prince Carlo has hit .244 with a .583 OPS, while backups Dave Chavez and Dustin Gould have combined to post only a .143 average.
“Hong will always hold a special place in Jackson hearts,” said Butler. “We wish him well in the Big Easy.”
Butler then turned to the camera and raised his voice. “But back to business… look out Knoxville, you slack-jawed [SOBs]!” the owner/whiz-kid GM hollered. “What you gonna do when the Heads run wild on you. brother????!!!” Butler then ripped off his shirt and flexed his muscles, showing off a tattoo on his right bicep of a bald eagle attacking Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.