The Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitching staff looks very impressive on paper. Randall Delgado will lead the starting rotation after a great 2009 season in Rome. He's right there as one of the Braves' top pitching prospects.
Cole Rohrbough is the only holdover from last year's Pelicans' rotation. If he does well early on, look for Rohrbough to move up to Mississippi. He'll be joined in the rotation by J.J. Hoover and Zeke Spruill, two pitchers who were solid last season in the South Atlantic League.
Matt Crim had such a good spring that he will bypass Rome and head to Myrtle Beach. Crim was 10-2 last season for the Appy League Champion Danville Braves. The lefty from the Citadel reminds some of former Braves' prospect Chris Waters.
Jose Ortegano, who impressed the major league staff in big league camp, will have a few games in Myrtle Beach before going up to Mississippi. After his heavy workload in winter ball and in big league camp, the Braves slowed him down a bit. The Braves just wanted to be a little careful with him, so they'll slowly build him back up to where he'll be set to go in the Double-A rotation. His first Myrtle Beach appearance is scheduled for April 13.
There will not be a set closer in Myrtle Beach. Instead several pitchers will get save chances. Benny Pruneda, Jaye Chapman, and Yeliar Castro may get the most shots at the end of games. They'll be joined in the bullpen by Chad Rodgers, Angelo Paulino, David Francis, and Juan Abreu.
Jesus Sucre and Matt Kennelly, who were both in big league camp for a while, will split the catching duties for the Pelicans.
Geraldo Rodriguez will get the most playing time at first base for Myrtle Beach, but he might also see action in the outfield. Yoel Campusano will start at second base, with Amadeo Zazueta at shortstop, and Shayne Moody at third base. Gerardo Avila and Randy Gress will be the backups.
The Pelicans' lineup will be led by left fielder Adam Milligan, who had a great month of March and is rapidly becoming one of the Braves' best prospects. Cole Miles will see time in center field, with Jhadiel Santamaria and Chris Shehan playing in right field.
Luis Sumoza will start the season on the disabled list. He had surgery this past Wednesday to repair cartilage in his knee. Sumoza is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.
Luis Sumoza *
* - Disabled List
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Roster
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