Depth could hold key to Flyers season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

This season when St. Joseph Flyers head coach Greg Bryant looks down his bench, he’ll actually see someone.

The Flyers have some numbers this season — 15 players — and Bryant is even more excited that there is an equal amount of talent at his disposal.

“We have a bunch of kids and we have bunch who can play. We have some depth,” Bryant said.

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There is some depth on the pitching staff as well. The Flyers will utilize Jeremy Addis, Alex Swarts, Ryan Waginger, Ryan Schwab, Cory Lewis, Jerrod Laber, Caleb Blackburn, Pat Gagai and Chad Harvey.

“Waginger is a pitcher. He knows how to work hitters. He’d pitch every day if you’d let him,” Bryant said. “Addis is throwing pretty well. Lewis throws really hard. When he’s on, he can control a game. Whe he got hurt, that slowed down his progress.

“If Swarts steps up, we could have a good staff. He throws the ball hard, he just doesn’t have a lot of innings under his belt.”

Bryant said he can always call on the reliable Schwab who “just throws strikes.” The Flyers coach likes his young pitchers as well but knows they need some experience.

“Harvey doesn’t throw hard, but he keeps the ball down and he throws strikes. Laber just hasn’t thrown much. We’re working with him. We think he can be a good one. And we like what we see in Caleb,” Bryant said.

The Flyers, 2-14 last season, should have a solid defensive lineup with more players. The depth will make moves easier when different players have to pitch.

Waginger will be at first base with Blackburn filling in when he pitches.

Aaron Whaley is back at second base for now, but Lewis is expected to take over the position when he’s healthy.

Schwab is back at shortstop and Lewis or Harvey can take over if Schwab is asked to pitch.

Swarts is at third base and gives the Flyers a good glove and a strong bat.

Addis will be the catcher. Gagai or Lewis will be the backups.

The outfield figures to have Laber in left, Harvey in center and Gagai in right. Whaley and Michael Basedow will add depth.

“Basedow will help us. He just needs to play some. He has some ability,” Bryant said. “Laber makes us better in the outfield defensively.”

Looking for playing time in the infield are Alex Brown and Dillon Cline.