BRASSBALL LEAGUE
THE OUTLAW

 

The official newsletter of the Santa Barbara Outlaws

 

Roster Preview: Part II, The Pitchers

In the second part to this series, we will take a look at the pitchers on this year’s Santa Barbara squad.  Joining the Outlaw veterans will be a few new arms and the return of some familiar faces.  This may be one of the best staffs ever assembled by the Outlaws.

SP1: Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez was drafted first overall in the 1999 draft.  He has put together two excellent seasons and has become the Outlaw staff ace.   His delivery throws off his opposition, and his grit and desire keep him in every ballgame.  Expect him on the mound every fifth day and to flirt with 20 victories for the first time as an Outlaw.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

O.Hernandez

1999

4.28

6

7

.462

20

20

2

0

0

115.2

106

66

55

12

61

118

O.Hernandez

2000

4.10

18

9

.667

35

35

4

1

0

226

233

118

103

28

105

155

 

SP2: Bart Colon is just coming into his own.  Bart could easily be the ace on other teams, but seems to prefer the comfort of his #2 spot in Santa Barbara.  He is developing into one of the league’s most dominating pitchers, and may surpass El Duque’s numbers when the season closes.  He is a workhorse and a competitor.  His 100-mph fastball will keep hitters on their heels.  Expect Bart to continue to develop and mature into the staff ace within the next year.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

B.Colon

1999

3.69

16

8

.667

32

32

3

1

0

204.2

200

96

84

18

97

149

B.Colon

2000

5.70

14

13

.519

34

34

3

0

0

211.2

254

148

134

41

91

167

 

SP3: Darren Dreifort’s potential is starting to show.  He has struggled at times, but when he is on top of his game, he cannot be beat.  He is a bulldog and can rack up a ton of strikeouts.  He has never reached 200 innings yet due to various injuries, but he should be expected to take the mound every fifth day in 2001.  Dreifort’s potential is exciting, and if he can harness it he will be a tough third starter to face.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

D.Dreifort

1999

5.24

14

7

.667

35

34

0

0

0

173.1

190

111

101

20

65

164

D.Dreifort

2000

6.60

9

12

.429

33

33

1

0

0

185.1

244

144

136

38

96

145

 

SP4: Back in 1997, John Burkett set an Outlaw record by winning 22 games.  When the Outlaws were looking for an arm to fill in for the injured Wilson “million dollar man” Alvarez, Burkett came to mind.  Picked up from the World Champion Parcelmen, John Burkett should step right in and produce.  He’s past his prime, but he knows how to get hitters out and keep his team in the game.  With the Outlaw offense supporting him, he should do better than expected.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

J.Burkett

1997

3.19

22

6

.786

34

34

3

0

0

231

235

88

82

22

71

147

 

SP5: The fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs.  The Outlaws may trade a top prospect for a starter, or may dig into their deep farm system and allow a rookie to fill the role.  A number of candidates await their shot.  Matt Clement is the top choice.   He has proven himself in the minors and is ready to pitch in the big leagues.  He may be a little rough as he learns, but he is capable of pitching in the Outlaw rotation.  If Clement needs more seasoning, Tomo Ohka and Doug Davis could get a shot.  Ohka has shown great command and has proven to be a solid winner in the minors.  If he can do the same in the big leagues, the Outlaws will be very happy.  Doug Davis played high school ball with owner Brian Budzyn, so he is familiar to the team.  Davis has a deceptive fastball and a wicked curveball.  Plus he is left handed, which may give him a slight advantage over Ohka this season.

 

Closer: Robb Nen

Robb Nen joins the Outlaws for the 2001 season after signing a big 3-year contract.  Nen is one of the top 3 closers in the game today.  When he is on, he is impossible to hit.  Although he has been inconsistent over the past few seasons, Nen is expected to put up big numbers in his first season with the Outlaws.  Robb Nen is at his best when he pitches with rest, so Santa Barbara manager Nolan Ryan will have to keep a close eye on Nen over the next three years.  Nolan Ryan will try to get the most out of Nen without having him throw too many innings.

 

Set-up1: Danny Graves

Danny Graves came up as an amateur through the Outlaw organization and has had success at every level he has pitched at.   Graves could be a closer on many teams, but will fill the role of the top set-up man again this year.  He is a tough competitor and produces many groundball outs, which is extremely important when pitching in Santa Barbara’s Oceanfront Stadium.  Look for Graves to pick up a few wins and saves in 2001 as he will be Nolan Ryan’s first man out of the pen in close games.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

D.Graves

1999

3.09

3

0

1.000

51

0

0

0

9

78.2

84

28

27

6

30

32

D.Graves

2000

3.79

8

5

.615

72

0

0

0

6

116.1

121

50

49

9

61

76

 Set-up2: Arthur Rhodes

Arthur Rhodes was acquired this off season in a trade for outfielder Eric Owens.  Rhodes has a history of putting up good relief numbers each year and should do the same in an Outlaw uniform.  He keeps the ball inside the ballpark and gives up very few hits and walks.  That should spell success in 2001.

Middle1: Anthony Telford

Another newcomer to the Outlaw bullpen is Anthony Telford.  Telford was signed as a free agent this past off-season.  Anthony is a veteran who knows how to get batters out.  He is a workhorse who can throw many innings out of the pen.   With the loss of Dan Miceli and Jerry DiPoto, Telford will be expected to fill an important role for the Outlaws in 2001.  If he can get the Outlaws through the middle innings and turn the ball over to Robb Nen, Danny Graves, and John Rocker, the Outlaws are in great shape.

Middle2: John Rocker

Owner Brian Budzyn loves the competitiveness and fire in John Rocker.   Rocker was signed two years ago to take over the closer’s role.  And he did just that in 2000 as he set a club record with 47 saves.  The Outlaws never really had a true closer until Rocker arrived, and the assurance that he could be counted on in clutch situations in the ninth inning made everyone more comfortable.  This past off-season has been a bit rocky for him, so it would be a miracle if he put up the same type of numbers as he did last year.  But Rocker remains one of the toughest pitchers to face in the late innings, and if he can keep his head on straight, he will be a force over the next few years with the Outlaws.

NAME

Year

ERA

W

L

PCT

G

GS

CG

SH

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

J.Rocker

2000

2.93

1

2

.333

68

0

0

0

47

73.2

57

25

24

9

36

111

Don’t forget about: Byung-Hyun Kim

Byung-Hyun was drafted in the middle rounds of the 2000 annual draft, and the Outlaws felt extremely lucky to pick him up that late.  Kim has a unique delivery that confuses the batter.  Combine that with his wicked pitches and you get a guy who is capable of dominating the opposition.  Although Kim wants to start, he may be better coming out of the bullpen.  Expect him to crack the Outlaws bullpen sometime in 2001.  And once he is ready, he should be up to stay.