05/14/2005 10:36 AM
for immediate release: 14 May, 2005
Cotuit Kettleers 2005 Season Preview
COTUIT, Mass -- The mood in Cotuit is one of anticipation. After an injury-plagued 2004 season and back-to-back losing summers, the Cotuit Kettleers gear up for what they expect to be a promising and rewarding year.
In his second season as Field Manager of the Kettleers, Mike Roberts will lead the charge followed by assistants Jeff Ditch (Young-Harris Junior College) and Mike Terhune (Orleans ‘96).
Roberts, former head coach at North Carolina, is the proud father of Baltimore Orioles slugging second baseman Brian Roberts (Chatham ’98)
Last season, the Kettleers led the league in stolen bases (75) and played in 22 one-run games, winning 10 of them. With the team aiming to steal over 100 bases this season, General Manager Bruce Murphy expects a combination of speed, power and pitching depth will contribute to less one-run ball games.
“Every year we try to bring in top pitchers to shut down other teams' bats. As they say, good pitching always stops good hitting,” says Murphy.
Anchoring the starting rotation and bullpen are Missouri left-handers Nathan Culp and Taylor Parker, Clay Dirks (LSU), Tim Ladd (Georgia Tech) and Daniel Moskos (Clemson). Joining from the right side of the mound are Notre Dame pitchers Jeff Manship and Derik Olvey, Josh Johnson (Mississippi St.), Drew Johnson (Navarro JC) and Steve Marek (San Jacinto College).
The Kettleers received good news in the off-season when they learned that Cape Cod League veteran Justin Maxwell (Maryland) would be returning for a third season. Returning players also include Bryan Harris (LSU), who finished last season with a .308 batting average, Jason Donald (Arizona) and Casey Hudspeth (South Florida).
Rounding out the squad are infielders Michael Hollander (LSU), J.P Padron (LSU) and Jeffrey Rea (Mississippi St.); catchers Sean Gaston (Notre Dame), Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech), featured in an April 11 Sports Illustrated article, and Jonathan Arencibia (Tennessee); and outfielders Julio Borbon (Tennessee), Shane Jordan (Stetson), Roberto Lopez (USC) and Emeel Salem (Alabama).
Playing in their 45th season, the Kettleers open 2005 at Lowell Park June 16 against the Bourne Braves. Of special note, the Kettleers will be featured on the Monday night Radio Game of the Week (PIXY 103), June 27 vs. the Braves. Fans can expect to see an exciting, aggressive and well-balanced team - one that Coach Roberts feels will provide excitement for Cape League fans at every field.
In 2004, the Kettleers had produced 34 players in the major leagues, including (current and former) Boston Red Sox players Lou Merloni, Dave McCarty and Mark Bellhorn, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent, catcher Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals, relief pitchers Braden Looper of the New York Mets and Mike MacDougal of the Kansas City Royals, starting pitcher Kirk Saarloos of the Oakland Athletics and third baseman Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Michael Kydd, CCBL Intern
John Garner, Jr.