New-look Volcanoes open season

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

Only three players from last year’s Northwest League champions are on the roster of the 2010 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.

Taylor Rogers will be the opening day pitcher Friday, Mario Rodriguez will be in the bullpen, and Jose Medina will be an outfield starter, probably in right.

Having mostly new players as usual, who have little experience, manager Tom Trebelhorn is not trying to predict the kind of season the 2010 Volcanoes will have. However, this former Major League Manager of the Year is known for turning out winners.

Besides Rogers, the pitching rotation is expected to consist of Edward Concepcion, lefthander Edwin Escobar, Cameron Lamb and Matthew Graham. Lamb is from Australia.

Alex Burg, who played at Washington State, is the starting catcher.

The regular infield consists of Carlos Quintana at first base; Julio Izturis, brother of major leaguers Cesar and Macier, at second; Cameron Jurica at shortstop; and Kyle Mach (pronounced “mack”) at third.

Starting in the outfield will be Rafael Rodriguez, an 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic, in left; Chris Lofton in center; and Medina in right.

In the opening series against the Everett AquaSox, everyone on the roster is expected to get a start.

Trebelhorn figures on letting a starting pitcher stay in the game for 75 or 80 pitches if he pitches effectively.

“It would appear that we’re going to play pretty good defense,” Trebelhorn said.

Asked about the hitting, he said, “That’s a crapshoot.”

The manager sees good baserunning potential, with Lofton, Izturis and Medina among the fast men. He is more concerned with getting his runners to take the extra base than he is with racking up stolen bases.

All of last year’s coaches are returning. Brian Cooper handles pitching. Darin McMains is the third base coach and works with infield play and hitting. Ricky Ward is the first base coach and is also involved with hitting, as well as outfield play.

The Volcanoes have a new trainer, Chris McKenna.

“We made some improvements at the park,” Trebelhorn said. The club has a new batting cage and a new weight room.

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