Written By: Mike McLachlin
The Arizona Rattlers won 107 games last year, but that didn’t stop them from turning over a significant portion of their line up, with 9 new faces on the opening day roster for the upcoming season, including 6 rookies.
Of the new players, the one counted on the most will be veteran starter Lorenzo Martinez, but the club also expects big things from first year catcher Phil Nichols.
The club will have a pair of 29 year old rookies. Francisco Cintron came from overseas last year and signed a minor league contract before getting time late in the year as an injury call up. Reliever Dino DiDomenico demonstrates that perseverance pays off. After four productive seasons with Arizona’s triple A club, DiDomenico will finally get his chance, beating out several pitchers with prior experience for the final bullpen spot.
Rounding out the rookie class are utility man Juan Cintron, back up outfielder Rod Puckett and last, but not least, the club’s top prospect in Tom Carter. Carter earns his place with a strong spring and an injury to Francisco Berrera. Could this be a five week audition for the young starter?
“We had other, more experienced options, but we thought this would be a good chance to see how close the kid is to being ready” said the GM. Carter will get a chance to prove he should stay, even after Berrera returns from the DL.