BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots have re-signed left-handed pitcher Mike Antonini for the 2018 season.
“Somerset is an organization that expects to win championships,” said Antonini. “I want to help us get back to that point. I look forward to helping out anyway that I can to get the job done and win a championship.”
Antonini enters his second season with the Somerset Patriots and fifth in the Atlantic League. He pitched for the Patriots last year and also made appearances in the league with the Camden Riversharks (2013) and Bridgeport Bluefish (2015-2016). The southpaw went 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA over nine starts with the Patriots last year while he was held on an innings limit. Antonini struck out 47 batters against just 10 walks over his 39 innings pitched last year. The 10.8 K/9 ratio he set last year was a career-high.
The Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania native did not allow more than two runs or five hits in any of his nine regular season starts. His best start came on Aug. 13, 2017 against the Lancaster Barnstormers where he tossed five shutout, one-hit innings with just one walk and a team-high 10 strikeouts to earn his first win of the year. His lone loss – which came in his next start on Aug. 19 at Southern Maryland – occurred after he tossed six innings of a seven-inning game without allowing a hit.
“It was a pleasure to add Antonini to our squad last year,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He came at a great time of need and turned into one of our better arms. We look to explore Mike’s versatility as we will pitch him out of the bullpen as well as some potential starts. He has a solid repertoire of pitches and knows how to use them to be successful.”
Antonini appeared in 13 games with the Riversharks in 2013 before he pitched for the Bluefish in 2015 and 2016. His previous best Atlantic League season came in 2015 with the Bluefish when he posted four wins over 11 starts with a 2.79 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 67.2 innings of work.
The Georgia College and State University alumnus also enjoyed a solid season for the New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am) in 2014 with a 9-3 record, 2.84 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 117.1 innings pitched. That included a Can-Am record 15-strikeout performance on July 12th, 2014 against the Lincoln Saltdogs.
Antonini spent the first four years of his professional career in the New York Mets organization, and reached the Triple-A level in both 2009 and 2010. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and was named a 2011 MiLB.com Organizational All-Star with Double-A Chattanooga. He appeared in 30 games with Triple-A Albuquerque in 2012 and was twice called up to the Majors, but never appeared in a game.
The 2007 18th-round draft pick is 62-65 in his 11-year professional career with a 4.00 ERA.
The Somerset Patriots led the Atlantic League in attendance and made their 14th appearance in the playoffs last season. The Somerset Patriots will welcome their 7,000,000th fan in their 20th season at TD Bank Ballpark in 2018. Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Season presented by Ford beginning at home on April 27. For more information, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com.