Red Sox Ready to Contend Again
Regina, SK – The Regina Red Sox have had enough of “close but no cigar.”
After two straight appearances in the Western Canadian Baseball League championship, taking Medicine Hat the distance in 2018 and then a hard-fought battle with Okotoks in 2019, the Red Sox have been quick to put together a roster ready for the 2021 season.
“I always get excited when I see our roster on paper this time of year,” director of recruiting Rye Pothakos said. “That being said, there are usually changes to the roster between now and Opening Day. We are prepared for a Plan A, B and C at almost every position.”
STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE
At first glance, the Red Sox are starting to put together a team with a healthy mix of new and old blood as well as local and international.
“From our experience, it’s very important to return a third of our roster if we can,” Pothakos said. “We find that having the leadership of the returning players allows us to jump out of the gate with strong starts.”
One of the first players announced was outfielder Griffin Keller, who will return for a fourth season with the Red Sox. The Pilot Butte, SK native put together an All Star season in 2019, hitting .386 with eight home runs and 49 runs batted in.
⚾Breaking News ⚾ We are pleased to announce Griffin Keller will be returning for his fourth year. Griffin hit .386 (2019) .438 (2018) .328 (2017) . He is a team leader with a great bat and are happy to have him back! pic.twitter.com/1fkKz4LKEu
— Regina Red Sox (@ReginaRedSox) December 28, 2020
“Our fans enjoy watching our Regina players succeed,” Pothakos stated.
A few things stand out as you scroll through the roster of players the Red Sox have assembled thus far.
One is the raiding of Diablo Valley Community College, with four newcomers heading north of the border.
Leading the way will be outfielder Cole Thompson, who topped the team in slugging percentage (.510) and was among the team leaders in batting average (.306), doubles (3), triples (2) and home runs (1). The 6-foot, 185-pound freshman also hit leadoff for the Vikings.
Ashtin Moxey will also be looking to turn heads in his first stop in the WCBL. The Nassau, Bahamas native was a powerhouse for Indiana Tech in the shortened 2020 season, hitting .390 with two home runs and eight RBIs.
⚾Breaking News ⚾ Signed: Ashtin Moxie! Hometown Nassau Bahamas. Ashtin is a Senior outfielder at Indiana Tech and will be playing his first season with the Sox. Welcome to Regina! pic.twitter.com/RtmMGwnunk
— Regina Red Sox (@ReginaRedSox) December 31, 2020
Another aspect to the Red Sox roster that stands out is their depth on the mound. A quick glance at the lineup card shows some strong statistics potential, starting with Bryce Mulcahy.
The former Yorkton Cardinals hurler is coming off a strong pre-COVID showing, as he went 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in seven outings for Southeastern University. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound southpaw also struck out 45 batters in 35 innings.
He will be joined another returning face to the Red Sox lineup in Grant Dowty. The Peoria, Arizona lefthander went 4-1 with a 4.45 ERA in 11 games for Regina in 2019 and followed that up by making three appearances out of the bullpen for Minot State, striking out three batters in 2+ innings.
And Joey Arellano will also be back in the Red Sox lineup. The 6-foot, 180-pound righthander made 11 appearances for the team in 2019, including three starts, posting 14 strikeouts in 15+ innings. At New Mexico State University, the El Paso, Texas native struck out two batters in two relief innings.
⚾Breaking News ⚾ We are pleased to announce Joe Arelano will be returning for his 2nd year. The Salinas CA native pitched for us in 2019. Joey is a RHP from New Mexico State and we are excited to get him back in 2021! pic.twitter.com/Nn9pqSIxMN
— Regina Red Sox (@ReginaRedSox) December 30, 2020
“Our roster is essentially set, so what we focus on now is having talent waiting in the wings should any of our recruits not be able to play due to injury, school issues or personal reasons,” Pothakos concluded. “This is a given to happen and we are prepared for it.”
Even in the midst of writing this story, the Red Sox were busy in announcing commitments. Those added to the growing list include pitchers Cutter Buchea, Dorsey Chatham, Jean Muntaner, righthander Travvis Ferguson, catcher Matt Malone, and outfielders Michael Zinter and Payton Flynn.
And while expectations might be tempered somewhat because of the unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Pothakos has his eyes on the prize.
“Our goal every year is to win the East Division and make it to the WCBL Championship.”