116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Jimmy Kerrigan is put together.
The brand-new Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, with some large forearms and a chiseled physique. The guy has seen a weight room or two in his life.
So it comes as little surprise to find out Kerrigan wants to be a strength and conditioning coach someday. He majored in exercise science at Virginia Commonwealth University, interned in the school's weight room and plans on taking the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist test in the offseason.
'Sort of open some doors,' he said, after C.R.'s 5-3 loss Sunday afternoon to Clinton at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 'I want to stick around baseball as long as possible.'
That means as a regular coach, a strength and conditioning coach, or even as a player. The 23-year-old had his contract with the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League purchased last week by the Minnesota Twins.
Kerrigan was second in the league with a .328 batting average and had 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 63 games. He made his affiliated-ball debut Saturday night with the Kernels and has a hit in each of his first two games.
'It's been a little hectic, but I'm glad to be here,' Kerrigan said. 'On Wednesday, we were in Avon, Ohio, playing the Lake Erie Crushers. The lineup was up, and I was batting leadoff. The skipper comes in after (batting practice) at, like, six o'clock, takes the lineup off the wall and said he had to make some changes. He shook my hand and said 'Congratulations, the Minnesota Twins have just selected your contract.' I was kind of shocked, still kind of am. It was pretty crazy, didn't really hit me for three or four days.'
A Philadelphia native, Kerrigan actually began his collegiate career at Temple but transferred to VCU after his hometown school dropped its baseball program following his sophomore year. He didn't get any interest ('not one phone call') from major league teams after his senior season with the Rams and figured he was done playing the game.
But he met a guy who helped him get hooked up with River City, located in O'Fallon, Mo. Now he's here, hoping he can help the Kernels (55-51, 16-20) down the stretch of the regular season and in the Midwest League playoffs.
'He's an athlete, for sure,' said Kernels Manager Tommy Watkins. 'I know he's into working out and things like that, so that's pretty neat. You know for one thing, he's going to take care of his body. He's going to be able to move around for you, play all three outfield positions.'
'I think I can bring a little bit of enthusiasm to the club, feel I can be a little bit of a sparkplug,' Kerrigan said. 'Bring some energy, just play hard and be a good teammate for the guys. Stuff like that. Be a good clubhouse guy.'
Gareth Morgan hit a three-run home run in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie for Clinton. Center fielder Aaron Whitefield had all three C.R. RBIs, though he left the game with a collarbone injury after making a catch on a head-long dive in the eighth.
Watkins did not believe the injury was serious. The teams play again Monday night at 6:35, with the Kernels expected to piggyback new lefty pitchers Charlie Barnes and Bryan Sammons in the game.
Those two were added to the roster from Rookie-level Elizabethton before Sunday's game. Barnes was a fourth-round draft pick this year out of Clemson and Sammons an eighth-rounder from Western Carolina.
l Comments: (319) 398-8259; email@example.com