Sunday, March 9, 2014
If you noticed the Sea Dogs roster, you saw six starting pitchers: Felix Doubront, Casey Kelly, Kyle Weiland, Ryne Miller, Stephen Fife and Eamonn Portice..
While it won't be a rotation with each starter getting five days' rest, there is a reason for six starters.
And the reason is Kelly.
Kelly, 20, has pitched only half a season of pro ball. He will be on a limited pitch count in Portland. Manager Arnie Beyeler said it could be 50 pitches at the beginning, which means only about three innings a start. That is where the sixth "starter" comes in. Portice, who started 25 games for Salem last year, is likely the one to piggyback Kelly's starts.
One other note: Among the cuts made Friday was infielder Jeff Natale, who played all of 2007 and part of '08 in Portland. He was promoted to Pawtucket in 2008 and then suffered a broken arm when he was hit by a pitch. He played 58 games for Pawtucket last year, batting .282.
Natale, 27, had a pretty good run in the Red Sox organization, considering he was a 35th-round pick out of Division III Trinity College.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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