TRAVERSE CITY — When the Traverse City Beach Bums start the 2014 season it wouldn’t be shocking for someone to glance at the pitchers listed on the roster and ask, ‘who are these guys?’
Gone are starters Scott Dunn, Jake Sabol, Jacob Clem and Johnny Omahen. So are top relievers Nick Capito, Matt Miller, Chris Squires and Burny Mitchem.
But Traverse City believes it can maintain the same high level of play on the mound with a retooled staff that does bring back starter Mike Devine and projected closer D.J. Johnson, who saw action in 14 games for Traverse City in 2011, and reliever Vladimir Camacho, a late-season addition last season who appeared two times in a Traverse City uniform.
“We have a great mix of veterans and rookies, righties and lefties on our staff,” said Traverse City manager Dan Rohn.
At the front of the starting rotation is right-hander Alex Gillingham, who is expected to be the opening day starter for Traverse City after coming over from the Houston Astros organization. He will join Devine, who is coming off a 6-2 year with the Bums last year, Casey Delgado, who was with the Frontier Greys last season, Tanner Tripp, the Beach Bums top pick in the draft, and southpaw Patrick Merkling.
Gillingham is a sturdy 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and has a good sinker/slider combination, as well as a change up that he throws in as well.
“Coming out of affiliated ball that’s kind of how I was labled as a pitcher,” he said. “So I think with the success I’ve had in affilliated ball hopefully I’m able to transfer that here.”
Devine had a good year in spot starting duty for the Beach Bums after spending his first year with Traverse City and his college years in the bullpen. Traverse City is expecting big things from its starter with the most experience.