Friday April 02, 2010 | 07:25 PM

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.

 

About this Blog

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.

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