Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

April 18, 2013

Beach Bums add outfielder, 2 more pitchers

TRAVERSE CITY — The Beach Bums roster is nearing completion.

With Wednesday's addition of outfielder Mike Mergenthaler and pitchers Johnny Omahen and Michael Kerschner, the team's roster sits at 28. Manager Gregg Langbehn said they have one more left-handed pitcher on the verge of signing a contract and will add more players from the Frontier League draft right before the start of spring training in two weeks.

"We're pretty pleased with where we're at right now," Langbehn said.

Mergenthaler — who has 102 games of affiliated minor-league experience under his belt, including a brief stint at AAA last year — has a professional batting average of .252 after hitting 31 home runs collegiately at Richmond.

"He's another guy that wasn't getting the at-bats he thought he deserved in affiliated ball," Langbehn said, comparing him to recently-signed infielder Brandon Brewer. "We're really excited about him. He can play all three outfield spots. Left-handed bat. Big kid."

He'll compete with returners Sean Gusrang and Matt Howard and newcomers Scott Woodward and Shaun Cooper for outfield playing time. Infielders Jeremy Banks and Brewer also have outfield experience.

Omahen will be one of numerous arms competing for up to four spots in the Traverse City starting rotation. All-Star Jacob Clem is the only starter back.

Other rotation candidates include Jake Sabol, Michael Devine, Shaun Marquardt, Chris Kaminski, Andrew Morris, Burny Mitchem and side-armer Philip Brua.

Kerschner is a former University of Michigan hurler. Langbehn said Beach Bums general manager Jason Wuerfel didn't want to risk losing the right-hander at the Frontier League tryout camp, so the team preemptively signed him.

Brewer — who can play all over — also pitched in the minors. The knuckleballer will be given a chance at camp to see if he can contribute on the mound as well.

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