The Helena Gotto Grottos Management group have been looking things over from top to bottom this off season to start their dream of getting to the World Series. Management is still trying to decide if offering Al Carrasco or Clarence Hartman for trade could have beneficial results and could entertain offers. Al is a little unhappy about his situation in the northern wheat fields and management is none too happy with Clarence.
To start things off, the trade of Tito Harris for Paul Ingram was not exactly a wanted deal but became a high priority necessity with the departure of Emmett Yearwood to Free Agency. It was decided that Emmett was not the man to play 2B long term. Buster Charles was let go to greener pastures along with the oft injured Steve Elster. To fill these holes in the pitching staff, York Burnett and Randy Stull were acquired more cheaply. It is thought they provide better stability than the two departures.
The offense as it stands going into Spring Training looks like this:
1B - Karim Batista who finally showed why the organization didn't give up on him.
2B - Paul Ingram who brings a better defense to the table at 2B and hopefully a great lead off hitting.
3B - Jay Hegan returns hoping to better last years performance.
SS - Kevin Kim has worked on his defense in the off season and we are hoping that it pays dividends.
LF - Jeremy Glover hopes to change his hitting attitude a bit with a probable move in the batting order.
CF - Will Weston proved he could play even with a weak glove in a pivotal position and hopes to improve upon that.
RF - Wally Harvey returns as the man that the team looks up to for guidance.
C - Joaquin Valentin still is the stalwart defense PC backstop.
C - Patsy Hegan has been given the chance to learn the position this year as Joaquin's backup.
DH - Clarence Hartman has had management puzzled for a couple seasons. There is a new plan in place, if it doesn't pan out expect Clarence on the chopping block early.
Util - Aurelio Prieto and Al Carrasco.
The pitching staff is an a bit of a flux at the moment and will probably be decided by the end of spring training. In the end it will be very capable of handling its opponents once again.
The Pen will actually designate a closer this year beyond popular belief from last year.
and Closer - Dave Stewart
As a side note, the pitching was strong enough last year that Thompson and Ortiz only had 40 innings between them but that will definitely change this season. Although Ortiz may be more than forgotten by seasons end.
Management has yet to identify their bubble player for the season as of yet. A good spring by one of six players could yet land them on the Big League roster.