Starting with the full season teams, where West Michigan just completed yet another strong first half of the season, locking up a playoff berth once again when playoff time rolls around in September. The ‘Caps have proven to be a remarkably strong team year in and year out, regardless of players and coach and that has continued in '07.
The first publicly announced move involved activating Phil Napolitan off the disabled list, while transferring Luis Gil to Oneonta. Gil, had been with the ‘Caps just a short time, called up from extended spring training, and with Napolitan ready to return to the ‘pen, Gil can prepare to work in Oneonta.
That's far from the only move taking place in West Michigan though, as the pitching staff is going to see a large shake-up when they return from the break. It's expected that Chris Cody, Angel Castro, and Josh Rainwater will all be promoted to Lakeland (Cody will still appear in the MWL All Star game).
There are a number of pitchers rumored to take those slots, but at the top of list appear to be Ramon Garcia (who had an outstanding first half of 2006 before having to sit out the 2nd half due to shoulder surgery), Matt O'Brien and Zach Piccola.
Meanwhile, Eleazar Aponte (who has struggled for both the ‘Caps and Flying Tigers so far this season) is likely headed to Oneonta.
Who will be joining him is still largely up in the air, as the organization continues to work to sign its prospects; many of whom will likely be sent to Oneonta.
As of now, here are the players that have been reported to be starting the season with Oneonta (note: these are all unconfirmed): pitchers Eleazar Aponte, Alfredo Figaro, Ramon Garcia, Luis Gil, Guillermo Moscoso, Adriano Santos, catcher Jordan Newton, infielder Ronnie Bourquin, and outfielder Casper Wells.
This roster is obviously not complete, and will continue to be filled out, including with the recent draft picks. It's commonplace for many of the higher collegiate selections to head straight to Oneonta, meaning players like Danny Worth, when signed, could find himself in Oneonta.
Bourquin will especially be one to watch, after struggling mightily out of the gate to start the season, Ronnie was sent to extended spring training to remove the pressure and help him get his head back on straight. When at his best, Bourquin has excellent gap power and a good eye at the plate. The jump to Lakeland might have been a bit too much of a push for him, and after getting out of the public eye for a bit, the Tigers hope he can return to form against a bit less developed competition.
TigsTown will have the final roster available prior to Oneonta's first game of the season on Tuesday, June 19th.