OKLA. CITY —
“Starters are the basis of any winning team,” said Oklahoma City RedHawks pitching coach Steve Webber at Media Day Tuesday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
And, with the number of youthful budding arms under the watch of the RedHawks’ coaching staff, this season looks to be a banner year.
“We have so much depth in our starting pitching,” said interim manager Tom Lawless, who is filling in for Tony DeFrancesco, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. “When you’re grooming 25 starting pitchers (14 currently appear on the roster but call-ups and call-downs will frequent the season), everybody is knocking at your door. With this many talented arms, you can always fill a spot in the major leagues.”
Oklahoma City possesses so much developmental talent on the hill, the RedHawks are implementing a five-man rotation with two pitchers throwing each game. Webber said they plan to have the starter go five innings with the second man to finish the game.
“If he can’t finish, we’ll bring in the closer,” Webber said.
Hurlers will rotate on starts.
First-round 2010 draft pick in 6-4, 220-pound right-hander Mike Foltynewicz is joining the ‘Hawks for the first time, stepping up from AA Corpus Christi (Texas). He went 6-3 in 2013.
Foltynewicz, 22, said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing better hitters on the AAA level.
Though right-hander David Martinez went 0-2 with Oklahoma City last summer, he was 14-2 at Corpus Christi and even picked up a victory with the parent club Houston.
Six-foot-one, 233-pound righty Jason Stoffel is back this season for the RedHawks after finishing the 2013 campaign at 8-1.
On offense, outfielder George Springer bombarded 37 home runs, drove in 108 runs, stole 45 bases and hit over .300 while splitting time in Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City.
“It (Oklahoma City) is a good place to play, a great atmosphere,” Springer said, who is 24 years old from New Britain, Conn. “I’m just going out and having fun. I’m going out to help us win.”
The RedHawks open the season Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in Round Rock, Texas and will host New Orleans April 11 for the home opener.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids coming up,” Lawless noted. “It’s going to be fun. We’ve got speed, power and pitching and having all that, we should have a lot of fun.”
TO LEARN MORE on the Oklahoma City RedHawks, including a full roster, schedule and for tickets, visit www.okcredhawks.com.