TRAVERSE CITY — The pitching rotation is nearly set as the Traverse City Beach Bums prepare for Friday's season opener at Gateway.
Alex Gillingham is expected to get the start opening night. He'll be joined in the rotation by Mike Devine, Casey Delgado and Tanner Tripp.
"We have a solid first four," pitching coach Greg Cadaret said. "We have a battle going on for the fifth spot, but we don't need a fifth starter until game eight or nine."
Gillingham and Devine each pitched four innings in Saturday's Blue/Gold scrimmage.
The scrimmage featured plenty of fireworks on offense. Catcher Jovan Rosa, acquired in the Scott Dunn trade, belted a grand slam home run. Yazy Arbelo, who is replacing Chase Burch at first, pounded out three hits, including a towering home run to right. Outfielder Shaun Cooper, who missed last season with an injury, displayed some power, hitting a home run and doubling off the wall. Outfielder Jeff DeBlieux showed some pop, too, with two hits, including an RBI double.
Devine, meanwhile, is the lone holdover in the rotation. He went 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA last season.
"I like to challenge hitters," he said of his pitching style. "I'm going to throw the fastball until they prove they can hit it. If they do, then I'll switch to something else."
Devine spent his winter working in Florida and was able to train at Florida Gulf Coast.
Righthanders D.J. Johnson and Will Rankin and lefthander Nate O'Bryan will anchor the back end of the bullpen.
The Beach Bums will play three games in Gateway, take Monday off, then play three in Florence. The team's home opener is May 23 with Windy City.