RailCats notebook: Roster balancing act
July 13, 2013 7:14PM
Updated: August 15, 2013 7:07AM
The RailCats have continued to carry 11 position players and 11 pitchers on their 22-man roster, though manager Greg Tagert prefers to go with 12 and 10.
“We’re still running with one man short in terms of position players, but the good thing is, we have a lot of versatility with the players that we have,” he said.
Indeed, third baseman Brian Kolb, Danny Pulfer — the erstwhile utility player appears to have wrested away the second base job from Chase Tucker — and Christian Vitters all essentially can play all four infield positions. And all three starting outfielders — Adam Klein, Drew Martinez and Mike Massaro — can play all three spots, allowing for flexibility with lineups.
Tagert also praised the catching duo of Craig Maddox and Ryan Babineau for the “dynamic” they provide. “They’re a big part of the ballclub,” he said.
The RailCats could have some difficult decisions to make with their pitching staff in the not-to-distant future, particularly if they do opt to go with 10 pitchers.
Right-hander Stephen Hiscock (biceps tendinitis) and lefty reliever Estevan Uriegas (elbow/forearm inflammation) both have been rehabbing and could be nearing returns to the mound after extended periods on the inactive list.
Hiscock has posted a 3.93 ERA in three starts this season, after he was the team’s top starter last season; and Uriegas didn’t allow an earned run in five early-season appearances covering three innings, with six strikeouts and no walks. Hiscock would have to build back to that top-of-the-rotation status, and Uriegas would be a welcome addition to a bullpen that last week lost closer Clay Zavada, whose contract was purchased by the San Diego Padres.
“Obviously, Estevan, as good as he is, he’s not going to fill Clay’s role, but he’s done such a good job for us in the sixth, seventh, eighth inning,” said Tagert, also noting how youngsters Taylor Sewitt and Kyle Lindquist have “stepped up” in set-up roles when the opportunity has arisen.