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Former T-Bone Returns as Pitching Coach

02/19/2010 10:19 AM -

The Kansas City T-Bones and manager Tim Doherty have announced that former T-Bones hurler Caleb Balbuena will return to the team as pitching coach in 2010.

Balbuena, 32, spent last season as pitching coach for the St. Joseph Mustangs, a college summer league team in St. Joseph, MO.  The six-foot-seven, 240 pound right-hander retired as a player following the 2008 season.

“Caleb and I have worked together before and he’s got experience as a coach,” said Doherty.  “He’s familiar with the organization and community and will be a solid addition to the staff.”

Balbuena was originally selected out of Cuesta (CA) Junior College by the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth round of the 1997 amateur draft but did not sign.  He instead transferred to Long Beach State and played on the College World Series team that later became known as the “Dirtbags.”  Following the season, Balbuena was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round of the 1998 amateur draft and joined their short-season affiliate, Everett.

After four seasons in the Mariners system, Balbuena spent time with the independent Allentown Ambassadors before being signed by the T-Bones out of open tryouts in 2004.  Following an injury-shortened season, Balbuena returned for the 2005 campaign and eventually had his contract purchased by the Colorado Rockies on July 25, 2005.  He returned to the independent leagues in 2006 to finish out his playing career, including a stint as a player/coach for the Harlingen White Wings of the United League in 2008.

Over parts of three seasons with the T-Bones, Balbuena appeared in 41 games, 10 of which were starts.  He posted a 4-5 record with one save and a 5.31 ERA in 79 and two-thirds innings.  He finished his playing career with an 18-22 mark, posting a 4.57 ERA with 358 strikeouts and 232 walks over 459 and one-thirds innings.

The T-Bones begin their 2010 campaign against the RailCats in Gary, IN on May 20 and will host the RedHawks in their home opener on May 28.  Season ticket packages and mini plans are available now by calling 913-328-5618.  For information on group outings, call 913-328-5623.  Single game tickets for the exhibition and regular season will go on sale in March.  Visit www.tbonesbaseball.com to stay up-to-date throughout the year.