Matt Varner finishes second in Rolaids Relief

Fort Wayne, IN – Fort Wayne Wizards closer Matt Varner finished second among all minor league relief pitchers in the 2005 Rolaids Relief Man Award after entering the final week of the season in a tie for first place. Four different closers in the San Diego Padres system led their respective league in saves.

Mark Worrell of Palm Beach (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) in the Florida State League took the overall title with a 2-3 record and 35 saves, good for 103 points. Matt Varner finished the season at 4-5 with 34 saves and 100 points. Varner was tied with Worrell after the month of August with 100 points.

In the Rolaids Relief Man points system, saves are worth three points, wins are valued at two points and a loss is negative two points.

Brad Baker of the Padres' Triple-A team in Portland led the Pacific Coast League with a 4-5 record and 27 saves (79 points), former Wizard Dale Thayer was 3-5 with 27 saves (77 points) to lead the Southern League for Double-A Mobile and last year's Fort Wayne closer, Leo Rosales was 8-7 with 27 saves (83 points) to lead Lake Elsinore of the California League.

J.J. Trujillo, a former Padre prospect, captured the overall minor league title for Fort Wayne in the 2000 season.


The first home game for the Wizards in the 2005 Midwest League playoffs is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Thursday when the team hosts the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) in game two of the best-of-three first round series.

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