The Long Island Ducks re-signed right-handed pitcher and Long Island native Chris Cepeda for the upcoming 2023 season, today the team announced via Twitter.
“I’m excited to come back,” Cepeda said. “I just want to be able to contribute. I look forward to being counted on in any situation to help the Ducks get back to where we belong.”
Cepeda returns to Long Island after pitching in 32 games (four starts) in 2022. He posted a 5-2 mark with a 4.30 ERA and 39 strikeouts to 20 walks over 58.2 innings of work. As a reliever, the Port Jefferson Station native went 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA in 28 contests and held opponents to a .263 batting average. He was especially effective during the month of July, recording a 2-0 record with a 2.84 ERA in 10 appearances.
The 26-year-old began his pro career in 2019 when he signed with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. He made 13 appearances that season, going 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA and 14 strikeouts to seven walks over 14.1 innings.
Prior to his professional career, the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder attended Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, N.Y. He then played collegiate baseball at Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.) from 2016-2019, going 27-13 with a 3.22 ERA, one shutout, one save and 276 strikeouts in 324.0 innings pitched over 53 games (45 starts).
Cepeda is looking forward to helping Long Island prove it can climb atop that Atlantic League Championship hill again.
“It’s always nice when something doesn’t go your way and you get another chance to run it back and prove to people you are better than the last time they saw you,” he said. “I think this organization knows it’s better than last year, and it’s ready to win.”
— Jerry Del Priore