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Somerset Patriots getting set up for another campaign

The Somerset Patriots  have their sights set on making a strong run for a title beginning on April 26 against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark.

Somerset has accumulated a tremendous amount of depth at a variety of positions this offseason, one of them being on the pitcher’s mound.

On April 19, the contact of RHP Tyler Cloyd, who enjoyed a brief stint with Somerset in 2017, had his contract purchased by the Seattle Mariners organization. Cloyd was one of the more notable names that the Patriots had signed in the offseason but they still have a host of hurlers who adequately compensate.

Southpaw Rick Teasley boasted a 3.60 era over 16 games in 2018 before an injury sidelined him for an extensive part of last year. Teasley is 11-7 in his two-year career in Somerset and was named a 2017 Liberty Division All-Star.

“We’re down to 15 pitchers right now and have a good amount of position players,” Head Coach Brett Jodie said. “You need that depth and you need to be solid from top-to-bottom and I feel like we are. We’re possibly thinking about a 6-man-rotation this year to cover up the fact that when you do lose somebody, you don’t have to find a bullpen guy to build him up,”

Aside from pitching, the Patriots signed a handful of players who should give a boost to their batting order. They brought in outfielder D’Arby Myers, who batted a league best .337 with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2017.

Myers’ strong bat will be joined in the outfield by 6-foot-1 Kyle Wenger. Wenger, who the team signed from their open-player tryout on April 13, was a graduate of Delaware Valley University where he finished his illustrious career as the program’s all-time batting leader with a .448 average. Wenger hit a three-run home run against the York Revolution in Somerset’s spring training finale on April 22.

“It was a very tough tryout,” Jodie said. “We felt like [Wegner] was really looking for an opportunity. We wanted to bring him in for a closer look, see some live pitches and get him in the outfield. He’s having a really good camp.”

While Jodie admits the opening day roster doesn’t hold as much MLB experience as in years prior, he feels that everyone from the most experienced veterane to the youngest rookies are hungry for some action.

“The mixture of veterans with young guys is a great thing to have and everyone involved is hungry to prove what they can do,” Jodie said. “I feel good about the group we have … we’ll go out there and play and see how it plays out.”

On the mound for Somerset in their opener against New Britain will be Brett Oberholtzer, according to Patriots beat writer Mike Ashmore. Oberholtzer will get his change to toss for the Patriots after the Colorado Rockies organization purchased his contract prior to opening day last season.

The team also announced on their Twitter page that they will live stream all 140 games of their campaign.

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Dylan is a sophomore journalism major at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and covers the Somerset Patriots and Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He is also the Sports Editor of Rider's student newspaper, The Rider News.
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