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WEST COAST SWING ANNOUNCE ROSTER

For Immediate Release
February 22nd, 2010

The West Coast Swing, defending champions of the NL Central Division, announced their roster today. The Swing swung 2 trades during the
draft- swapping a draft choice for 2 later choices in one and moving Matt Kata for a draft choice in the other. “Our goal was to refresh our farm system after losing a player [Jake Arrieta] in the expansion draft, having 2 farmhands expire, and seeing Eric Young, Jr. and David Huff get called up this year,” said Swing GM Mitch Watnik. They did that in spades, drafting Michael McKenry, a catcher in the Rockies’ farm system, 3 outfielders (Corey Brown, David Lough, and Mitch Moreland), and 3 pitchers (Zach McAlister, Alexander Torres, and Ryan Tucker).

The Swing’s starting staff was pretty much set before the draft: Josh Johnson, Wandy Rodriguez, Kevin Millwood, Scott Baker, and Gavin Floyd.
The back end of the bullpen remains the lefty-righty duo of Fuentes and Soria. New draftees, Sammy Gervacio and Justin Berg, along with Chris Perez, form a trio of sixth and seventh inning guys, when needed.   Rumored deals involving Todd Wellemeyer never materialized and he is likely to fill mop up and spot start duties (particularly if he earns a starting job with the Giants in 2010), although Chad Gaudin is probably a better option. It is not clear where left-handers David Huff and Glen Perkins fit in to the picture, though the latter and Matt Lindstrom are expected to spend much of the year in the minors.

The Swing have 5 catchers on their roster, including Michael Barrett, who signed on as an undrafted free agent. The holdover trio of Yorvit Torrealba, Taylor Teagarden and light-hitting Dusty Ryan are likely to share most of the duties, with late-round pick Michel Hernandez available on the farm. “We would like to have a better defensive option, but don’t need one. I have not yet found a match on the trading market,” said Watnik.

The infield is solid: Overbay and Cuddyer platooning at first, Utley at second, Cabrera at short and Zimmerman at third. Maicer Izturis can back up the latter three and draftee Ian Desmond looks to be the long-term answer at short.

The outfield is primarily Winn, Victorino, and Cuddyer, with Izturis, Young, and Hinske backing them up.

Jasper Nelson is returning for a third campaign with the team and he likes what he sees. “3 hitters with over 30 homers, a switch-hitting lead-off man, Gavin Floyd as the number 5 starter… what’s not to love,” he asked rhetorically.

Other than the need for a defensive upgrade at catcher, the Swing seems content with their roster, viewing only Wellemeyer and maybe Alfredo Amezaga as superfluous and expendable for draft picks.

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