After a strong spring training by the Bridgeport Bluefish, the team demonstrated their readiness for the regular season with an 8-1 win over the Milford Hunters yesterday at Harbor Yard. Whether you’re a devoted Bridgeport fan, or just a casual one, you have to be excited about what this club can do both on the mound and on the diamond.
The Bluefish are comprised of a mix of players, some who have reached as high as MLB or as low as A-Ball. Their past levels of play do not dictate but contribute to the role each specific player has in helping to bring a championship back to Bridgeport.
Many of the position players for the Bluefish – six to be exact – have MLB experience. Most notability, Endy Chavez, Dan Johnson, Wilkin Ramirez, Josh Vitters, and Luis Hernandez.
The Fish will be relying upon Chavez & Ruben Sosa Jr. to ignite the offense.
If you look at the box score for Chavez, it will say 0-2 with a walk. Attending a game in Bridgeport will give you a different impression of the former Met. Chavez is a grinder. He is a perfect two-hole hitter on the sole basis of his ability to see pitches and to foul off pitch after pitch.
“That is a part of my game (is) to work out on the count,” Chavez said, “seeing some pitches and trying to be aggressive and attack the pitch I’m looking for.”
The top of the order is a key to the Bluefish, and Sosa has a lot to offer as the leadoff hitter. Sosa’s approach to the batter’s box will benefit and strengthen what happens there.
“(The) main thing I learned from myself is the type of player I am,” Ruben said. “I’m not a home run hitter. I’m a type of guy, who puts the ball in play, steals bases, and scores runs for the team.”
With both Chavez and Ruben at the top of the order, the Bluefish might have one potent offense.
On the mound, the Bluefish have as many as seven potential starters, but the key to this team – as is true with many club – is the back-end of the bullpen. The relief corps is based on mostly right-handed relievers, but having left-handed pitchers Brian Moran and Eric Niesen makes their roles as lefties out of the pen that much more valuable.
One reliever, who can be a key cog in this bullpen – as long as he doesn’t get picked up by a MLB team – is righthander David Carpenter, formally of the New York Yankees. Carpenter came in at the top of the ninth inning yesterday throwing seven of his eleven pitches for strikes, while recording a strikeout swinging on the final batter of the game. One thing about Carpenter, both past and present, is his velocity.
Having Jesse Litsch as a pitching coach will only help prepare Carpenter for a return to organized ball. While interviewing Carpenter, it was easy to see the amount of respect Carpenter has for Litsch as a pitching coach.
“I’m very thankful to have him here,” Carpenter said. “He’s pitched in the big leagues; he knows what it takes to stay there.”
A visit to Harbor Yard to check out the Bluefish is well worth the trip. There is evidence of a great deal of talent, much like last year, where fifteen Fish players were picked up by MLB clubs.
With the level of play I witnessed, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least half of that number could be picked up this season, maybe even more. Nothing ever beats seeing a major league ball player fight his way back to the pros and once again reach that dream.
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