One day after the Sugar Land Skeeters began spring training in York, Pennsylvania, it was announced Wednesday Houston-local Lance Pendleton was signed to pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays pending a physical.
“This is what we play for,” Pendleton said about getting signed. “The arm is healthy, and I feel ready to contribute in whatever way they decide to use me. Whether I come out of the bullpen or start in the rotation, I will be full-strength.”
Pendleton, a Kingwood native and Rice University graduate, participated in two practices and one exhibition game during spring training with the Skeeters. Originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 MLB Draft, he spent the majority of his first six years within the New York Yankees organization. Pendleton impressively ascended his way from Rookie League ball in 2007 to Major League Baseball in just four years. In his major league debut with the Yankees on April 15, 2011,
Pendleton came in for three innings of relief work allowing no runs and no walks while striking out two in a loss to the Texas Rangers.
After spending the majority of 2011 with the Yankees, Pendleton was designated for assignment by the club and claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros in September 2011. Between the two major league clubs, Pendleton worked a combined 19 innings in 15 games. At the start of spring training for the 2012 season, Pendleton signed a minor league contract with the Astros to join the club in Kissimmee, Florida. He was released by the Astros on March 30, 2012, as a free agent.
However, baseball is not done with the 28-year-old just yet. Just one day into spring training Pendleton was informed by Skeeters Manager Gary Gaetti he would have to pack his bags once again. “I am happy for Lance,” said Gaetti. “He was going to be our Opening Day pitcher, but after two workouts a scout saw him
and picked him up. That’s why this league is great. It gives Major League ready players an opportunity to showcase their talent to all of the 30 clubs.”
“Being from the Houston area, I knew the Skeeters would give me the best shot to showcase my arm,” Pendleton said. “The organization really treated me with open arms. It is a double-edged sword though. I am upset to leave home where my
family is, but this is an opportunity I cannot pass up.”
Opening Day for the Skeeters is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first-pitch start time at Constellation Field against the York Revolution.