The official press release is not yet in hand, but per MASN’s Byron Kerr, here’s a look at the 2013 Hagerstown Suns (watchlist players in bold, notables in italics):
|Dixon Anderson||Carlos Lopez||J.R. Higley||Craig Manuel|
|Robert Benincasa||Mike McQuillan||Estarlin Martinez||Pedro Severino|
|Brian Dupra||Khayyan Norfork||Brandon Miller|
|Pedro Encarnacion||Stephen Perez||Wander Ramos|
|David Fischer||Tony Renda|
|Bryan Harper||Wes Schill|
|Ivan Pineyro||DISABLED LIST|
|Brian Rauh||Wirkin Estevez||Spencer Kieboom||Narciso Mesa|
|Blake Schwartz||Matt Purke||Todd Simko||Dean Weaver|
Well, the gang’s all here. Just four of the 25 active players here didn’t play for the Auburn Doubledays last summer.
However, like Potomac, there’s a question of who’s gonna start and who’s gonna relieve. Nine of the 13 were starting pitchers for significant periods of time in Auburn, Hagerstown, and the GCL. Sight unseen, and without knowing folks’ health, it’s tough to guess… especially if the Nats do what they did last year with Nathan Karns and begin one of the guys coming off surgery (e.g. Dupra, Anderson) in the bullpen to keep the innings count down in the early going.
Health, of course, is going to probably be a theme with these guys… injuries shortened the already short seasons of Miller and Perez — how will they do over the course of a full season? Matt Purke; ’nuff said.
Of course, it bears repeating that even though this largely the same team that racked up .605 winning percentage in the New York-Penn League, it’s no guarantee that they’ll do the same in the Sally. But if the pitching improves as much as the hitting declines, it could be another playoff run for this group.