Roster Set as Stars Begin 2008 Season - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Roster Set as Stars Begin 2008 Season

(HUNTSVILLE) - A new logo, a new look on the web, a new GM, and new faces on and off the field welcome baseball fans to Joe Davis Stadium, Thursday, as the Huntsville Stars start their 24th season tomorrow night at Joe Davis Stadium.

The players, themselves, arrived Monday to establish themselves in town. Half of the 24 will reacquaint themselves to Joe Davis Stadium, Wednesday. One pitcher, Patrick Ryan, barely got to know his surroundings, having pitched just one game during the Championship Series vs. Montgomery last year.

The remaining 12, will see The Joe and meet local reporters for the first time for Media Day during the afternoon.

A brash, bold new general manager, Buck Rogers, vows to revitalize interest in the team with more contact with the fans and the community, and new ideas mixed in with the successful promotions from the past. It starts with a T-shirt giveaway at the gate on Opening Day, and later in the month, Three R's with the Stars (for schoolkids), and a Sunday Pre-Game Game of Catch on the field.

Fans who have come to see the game more than the fireworks will see 5 of the Brewers' top 10 minor league prospects, including the Brewers' #1 prospect, Matt LaPorta, as well as one former Southern League All-Star reliever, three starting pitchers from last year's team, an infielder seeing his 4th year with the team -- all of them wearing new caps and new uniforms.

Here are your 2008 Huntsville Stars:

PITCHERS
Thomas Atlee RH 39 G as Indy Leaguer in '07
Joe Bateman RH Rule V draftee from SF
Steve Hammond LH 7-9, 4.69 last year
Robert Hinton RH 2 saves, 1.76 ERA down the stretch
David Johnson RH 1/3 of that playoff no-hitter triumvirate
Derek Miller LH 6-2, 3.18 in 11 starts in '07
Sam Narron LH 0-2, 6.30 in 4 April starts last year
Patrick Ryan RH 1 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 3
E.J. Shanks RH 10 ER in 9 2/3 IP at home in '07
Ben Stanczyk RH 7-4, 3.55 for Brevard in 43 G, 3 Svs.
Rusty Tucker LH 42 saves for the Bay Bears in '03
David Welch LH Australian... part of new rotation
Brae Wright LH Also part of new starting rotation
CATCHERS
Carlos Corporan B Should bounce back fm .201 season
J.R. Hopf LH .213 in two pro seasons
Angel Salome RH Will miss first homestand
INFIELDERS
Michael Bell 2b .267/.311/.394 at Brevard in '07
Chris Errecart 1b .262, 10 HRs, 91 Ks at Brevard in '07
Alcides Escobar ss #3 prospect won't stay long
Mat Gamel 3b Led minors w/53 errors in '07
Guilder Rodriguez 2b 4th season as a Star... .274 hitter
OUTFIELDERS
Michael Brantley LH 36 SBs between W Va. and Stars
Ryan Crew RH .255 in 137 ABs last year
Cole Gillespie RH #6 prospect similar to Tim Salmon
Matt LaPorta RH #1 prospect bypasses Brevard Co.
Freddy Parejo RH Hit just .219 at Brevard in '07

The gates open at 6 pm for the Stars' 7:05 start against the Mississippi Braves, who have two former Stars on their roster -- pitcher Jerome Gamble and catcher J.C. Boscan.

Courtesy www.starsboxscore.com

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