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April 25, 2005

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal is reporting that the team is close to an agreement with ex-MLB P Nick Bierbrodt. Bierbrodt has pitched for Arizona, Tampa Bay and Texas and would be somewhat of a name player, something that Lancaster would love to have.

The Connecticut Post reports that the team has reached an agreement with ex-MLB P Hector Mercado. He pitched for Cincinnati in 2000-01 and Philadelphia in 2002-03.

The Nashua Telegraph is reporting that the Nashua Pride have made some huge cuts. P Brad Guy, P Jeff Sparks, P Clint Chrysler and INF Ricardo Cordova are all gone, as is utility INF Javier Lopez.

If all you want is news, then there you go. If you want my opinion on this, then keep reading…

If you’re going to have a 23 man roster for financial reasons, I can respect that. Nashua is a difficult market to compete in and it’s not like we’re dealing with affiliated teams here.

But at least have the 23 best players out there.

Guy was an All-Star last year and his 11 wins ranked him second among Atlantic League pitchers. He brought extensive experience to thr club and you always knew what you were getting out of him.

Jeff Sparks was the team’s closer for the second half of last year, and the paper is reporting that he did not report to Newark in a trade that would have sent him there future considerations. A return to the team hasn’t been ruled out for him…

Chrysler put up decent numbers for Nashua last year, as did Cordova.

Financial considerations clearly motivated the majority of these moves, and that surprises me considering that the team is under new ownership. Maybe they’re under more of a transitional phase than was believed, but I’m really miffed at some of these cuts.

The Pride have seemingly always had to toy around with their roster to make things work, but this seems to be the most drastic example yet. They’ve always been toeing the line of fiscal responsibility vs. a competitive team, but this is the blurriest that line has ever been.

11 pitchers, that’s not unheard of, as most teams will carry 24 or 25 guys. But having only 3 utility players leaves the Pride severely shorthanded compared to most other teams, which will have either an extra utility player or arm in the bullpen…or both. That may seem meaningless now, but if you’re expecting these guys to be fresh in August and September, you’re kidding yourself.

And besides, they’re one injury or player being picked up away from having a bit of a dilemma on their hands.

For as close as I was to typing the sentence, “Why even play,” I still think that Nashua can compete for a playoff spot with the roster they have, but losing both Guy and Cordova especially will hurt them in the long run.

And, before I get ripped apart myself here (which I will, mind you), I do still have these guys pegged for a playoff spot in my league preview piece.

I’d be very surprised if at least one of these guys didn’t pop up on another team’s roster. – Mike Ashmore

The views and opinions of Mike Ashmore are not necessarily indicative of that of other atlanticleaguebaseball.com employees. Atlanticleaguebaseball.com has no affiliation with the league, its clubs or players.

Mike can be reached at mashmore@atlanticleaguebaseball.com

Also today, the Newark Bears signed RHP Darryl Roque, placed LHP Steve Crampton on the Inactive List and released C Jason Dewey, OF Mike Piercy, LHP Stevenson Agosto, RHP Blas Cedeno and RHP Emmanuel Ramirez…

The Atlantic City Surf signed major league veteran Tom Goodwin. Goodwin, who played for the Chicago Cubs last season, has a lifetime batting average of .268 in the major leagues with 1029 career hits. The left-handed hitter has played for San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. – Scott Stanchak.

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