Duaner signs with Ducks

Duaner Sanchez, whose career was torpedoed by a serious shoulder injury suffered in a taxi accident on I-95 in Miami on July 31, 2006, has signed with the independent Long Island Ducks. Here's the press release:

The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of pitcher Duaner Sanchez and outfielder Sean Smith. Both players begin their first season with the Ducks.

“We are happy to bring Duaner and Sean aboard this season,” says Ducks president/general manager Michael Pfaff. “Their talents and experience will certainly help bolster our club.”

Sanchez will begin his 12th season of professional baseball in 2011. He split time in 2010 with Mexico City of the Mexican League and Independent Sussex in the Can-Am Association. Combined, he went 4-4 with a 3.69 ERA and 20 saves in 39 games. For his minor league career, the right-hander has a record of 31-38 with a 4.23 ERA and 41 saves in 207 games.

The Dominican Republic native has spent parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues. He pitched most recently with the San Diego Padres in 2009, posting a 1-1 record over 12 games. His best season came in 2006 with the New York Mets, when he compiled a 5-1 record with a 2.60 ERA in 49 games, helping the Mets reach the National League Championship Series. For his big league career, the 31-year-old is 19-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 288 games. Sanchez was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1996.

Smith enters his 12th season of professional baseball in 2011. He split time last season with the Camden Riversharks and Independent Victoria of the Golden Baseball League. Overall, he posted three home runs, 17 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 47 games.

For his minor league career, Smith has compiled a .257 average with 60 homers, 334 RBI, and 221 stolen bases in 809 games. A native of Beverly Hills, California, his best season came in 2008 as a member of the Somerset Patriots. That season, he hit .292 with a career-high 15 homers, 51 RBI, and 28 stolen bases in 94 games. The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 15th round of the 2000 amateur draft.

The Long Island Ducks are entering their 12th season of play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Opening Day is May 6. For season ticket or advertising information, visit www.liducks.com or call 631-940-DUCK.