The Orleans Firebirds have revamped their website. While not radically different, it has a bold, colorful look to it and it does provide more information. The new site can be found at www.orleansfirebirds.com. (Clicking the link on the league homepage brings you to the older site at www.orleanscardinals.com.) The Team USA roster only has three names on it, but all three players also show up on the roster of a Cape League team - Michael Wacha (RHP, Texas A&M / Orleans), Nolan Fontana (SS, Florida / Bourne) and Brian Johnson (LHP, Florida / Yarmouth-Dennis.)
Soon after a short feature on Toledo RHP Michael Hamann was posted to CodBall, Hamann was removed from Bourne's roster. Hope we aren't starting the CodBall version of the Sports Illustrated jinx.
A few other recent roster changes: Jake Cole (RHP, North Carolina) and Ryan Lashley (IF, Stetson) have been dropped by Chatham. They have been replaced on the Anglers roster by Cody Penny (RHP, North Carolina) and Dane Phillips (C, Oklahoma St.) Phillips hit just .152 while playing in 33 games for Hyannis last summer. Cotuit has dropped outfielders Michael Faulkner (Arkansas State) and Jacob Morris (Arkansas) from their roster.
A couple former Cape Leaguers are off to good starts with the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Rightfielder Alex Hassan (Orleans; '08, '09) leads the team in batting with a .391 avg and an OBP of 1.017. Catcher Tim Federowicz (Chatham; '07) is hitting .278 with 3 homeruns.
Sticking with the pros for a moment... With all the talk about Philadelphia's Big Four of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, a former Cape Leaguer has stepped into the Phillies rotation recently and performed admirably. Vance Worley who pitched for the Chatham Athletics in 2006, has won both games that he has started for Philadelphia. In 12 innings, Worley has allowed just one earned run for a 0.75 ERA and has given up 6 hits while striking out 12 and walking 4. Mike McCoy, another former Athletic who is now playing for Toronto, hit his first career homerun in the majors last Saturday off the Yankees A.J. Burnett.
It's never a good idea to judge a player based on what you see in one game, but Virginia second baseman Keith Werman (Harwich) played some impressive defense when I saw him last Saturday in a game at Boston College. At 5'7" and 150 lbs., Werman showed excellent range moving to his left and right and he almost made an excellent catch on a ball that was hit into rightfield when it didn't look like he would come close to getting to the ball.
Check back to CodBall for the team previews which will be posted soon.
Only 34 days to the start of the season!