The West Virginia Power announced five more signings Monday for its inaugural season in the independent Atlantic League, including a pitcher with a World Series ring.
Jean Machi, a 39-year-old right-handed reliever from Venezuela who won his ring with the San Francisco Giants in 2014, was the most prominent name among Monday’s signings. The others, including two more with major-league experience, were:
David Kubiak, 31, right-handed starting pitcher; Elih Villanueva, 34, right-handed starting pitcher; Pat Young, 29, right-handed pitcher; and Rymer Liriano, 29, outfielder.
“We’re going very veteran,” said Mark Minicozzi, the Power’s manager. “We’re signing a lot of fun guys with a lot of experience. It’s gonna be a fun summer.
n Machi, a native of Venezuela, signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002 and knocked around the minor leagues with the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates before signing with the Giants before the start of the 2012 season.
Machi had his best big-league season in 2014, going 7-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 71 games, all in relief. He pitched in seven postseason games that year, including three in San Francisco’s World Series win over the Kansas City Royals.
Machi also pitched in the majors for the Boston Red Sox (2015) and Seattle Mariners (2017). His career MLB record is 13-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 194 games, all in relief, over five seasons.
Machi pitched for the Sugarland Skeeters of the Atlantic League in 2018-19.
“Machi will give us a reliable veteran arm at the back end of the bullpen,” Minicozzi said.
n Liriano also comes to the Power with MLB experience after playing 38 games with the San Diego Padres in 2014 and 21 games with the Chicago White Sox in 2017.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Liriano was signed as a free agent by the Padres in 2008. More recently, he played in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League in 2018, compiling a .253 batting average with 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in 102 games with two PCL teams.
“Rymer will be one of our corner outfielders this season and will also hit in the middle of our lineup,” Minicozzi said.
n The third of Monday’s Power signees with MLB experience is Villanueva, who had one start with the Florida Marlins in 2011. The Miami native was drafted by the Marlins in the 27th round in 2008 out of Florida State.
Villanueva had a solid 2017 season with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League, going 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA in seven starts. Since then, he’s pitched at the Class AAA and AA levels for the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox.
“We expect him to add some great veteran presence to our rotation,” Minicozzi said of Villanueva.
The remaining two Monday signings could give the Power a good head start on an ooffseason basketball team. Kubiak and Young both stand at 6-foot-7.
n Kubiak was selected by Tampa Bay in the 36th round of the 2011 draft, and one of his first stops was with the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League. He’s had success in the Atlantic League, going 15-4 in 26 starts with the Somerset Patriots in the 2018-19 seasons. Kubiak is also coming off a strong showing in the Dominican Winter League, where he went 1-0 with a 1.73 ERA in seven starts.
“We expect him to continue his success in the Atlantic League and lead our rotation for 2021,” Minicozzi said of Kubiak.
n The hard-throwing Young was taken by the Giants in the 13th round of the 2013 draft. A Texas native, he played his college ball at Villanova and reached as high as the Class AA Eastern League in affiliated ball in 2017. Young also has Atlantic League experience after pitching for the York Revolution in 2019.
“[Young] will continue the theme of 95-plus-mile-per-hour relievers in our bullpen,” Minicozzi said.
Minicozzi said the Power is about halfway through filling out its 2021 roster.