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Riot Tales 7: Riot Spring Preview Part I

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Posted 09-28-2009 at 10:00 PM by battists

overturnedcars.com -- THE blogsource for all things Philadelphia Riot

March 3, 2080 (Christian Lammers)

I've been a baseball fan all my life. Of course, that's only 30 years, and hey, the first few probably don't count. But I remember my dad showing me some old baseball videos when I was a kid: the Carlton Fisk home run, the Phillies beating the Rays in 2008, the Tigers coming from down 3-0 to beat the Cardinals in the 2027 World Series. I was hooked, and I've been waiting for the NWBL for what seems like forever. And now it's here!

Spring Training starts today, the first professional baseball since I got out of elementary school. Very fine. So, taking a virtual page out of the old sportswriters' books, over the next few days we'll take a close look at our Philadelphia Riot heading into the spring. We'll look at every position on the team, and talk about position battles, and then hopefully while you guys are reading this, I'll be sitting in front of the big screen with a beer in hand, watching Lucifer for the first time. Should be fun.

So, with no further ado, we'll start out today by checking out the Riot's rotation:

Much of the talk leading up to Spring Training has been about David "Lucifer" Edwards, and that talk will continue. He's one of the few players in camp who likely wouldn't lose his spot in the rotation even with a miserable spring. He's our Opening Day starter, barring injury. And why not? The 25-year old southpaw is a fierce competitor who works hard at his craft. He has a dominant 12-6 curveball, and a sinker that will have opponents flailing like crazy. He'll mix in a slider and the occasional changeup. He has good movement on his pitches, good control, and good stuff. Throws in the high 90s, and keeps the ball on the ground. About the only thing you can complain about is that he isn't the most graceful fielder.

But what about the rest of the rotation? Honestly, I'm not sold. I worry that they're going to be a weak spot for this team. Diminutive righty Harris Poole also has a reputation of being bright and a hard worker. The soft-spoken Iowan is a fly ball pitcher who throws a decent forkball. Tops out in the low 90s, but is always around the plate.

Javier Santos is a tall Puerto Rican who doesn't speak a lick of English (yet). He has the bearing of a natural athlete, and looks like a panther out there on the mound, ready to pounce on anything. He has a dizzying array of pitches, and while none of them will blow hitters away, he definitely fits that "crafty veteran" mould.

Dan Hodges doesn't quite fit the same mold as the other pitchers on the staff. He's already developing a reputation as a bit of a practical joker, and with his Louisiana drawl it's a little hard to take him seriously. He's a classic fastball-curveball-changeup pitcher, another guy who isn't likely to dazzle, but who hopefully gets outs.

Curtis Elmore, Ralph Farrell, Juan Rosales, they're all pretty similar pitchers, really. I see a lot of competition during Spring Training between these guys. I think it's likely Santos will stay in the bigs at least to start, just to have a second lefty in the rotation.

Projected Rotation
#1 David Edwards (L)
#2 Harris Poole (R)
#3 Javier Santos (L)
#4 Dan Hodges (R)
#5 Curtis Elmore (R)
AAA Ralph Farrell (R)
AAA Juan Rosales (R)

Tomorrow we'll talk about the bullpen...c'ya round!

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    Posted 10-03-2009 at 11:58 AM by Afino Afino is offline

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