When the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds begin a new season on Friday night at home against Hudson Valley, 19-year-old right-hander Parker Bridwell will be their starting pitcher.
Bridwell was a ninth-round draft pick last year out of Hereford High in Texas. Bridwell was at extended spring training before making a start June 4 for Delmarva where he gave up five runs in 4 2/3. He had another start for the Shorebirds over the weekend rained out after 1 1/3 innings.
Bridwell can pitch into the mid-90s with his fastball, and said his changeup has improved after he changed his grip on the pitch this season.
Here is the IronBirds preliminary roster released today:
Leo Gomez is the manager of the IronBirds with Scott McGregor returning as pitching coach and Cesar Devarez and Moe Hill as field coaches.
Aberdeen's roster is expected to undergo changes between now and the first game. Some of the 2011 draft picks could be added, and, as reported here recently, Mychal Givens is expected to be Aberdeen's starting shortstop. He is not with the team now but could be added later this week.
Check back later on my blog and I will post some comments from Narron.