Through seven games, the Sedalia Bombers have had 14 players hit on a regular basis and nine players pitch.
The Bombers are deep and are about to add even more depth.
An already crowded roster at catcher with Travis Tokarek, Jack Mercer and Alex Del Rio is about to add Alex Bee, who was the Bombers’ starting catcher last summer.
Bee is expected to make his return within a month.
“He had a minor surgery last week on his left arm, but it’s not a big deal,” said Bombers coach Craig McAndrews. “He did something to his hand/arm in the season.”
All three catchers have spent time behind the plate this season and two of them have been in the lineup at the same time in all but one game because McAndrews uses them at designated hitters.
“I don’t think anybody has taken off,” McAndrews said. “I think they are all very equal right now, but someone will win the job sooner or later. It doesn’t matter to me. If they all keep producing like they are and they all get an off day it would be fine with me.”
When Bee comes to town, he’ll not only add depth behind the plate, but could be used in the outfield as well.
“He can play some outfield and Del Rio can play some first, too,” McAndrews said. “We can move guys around, which is nice. Bee can run well and Del Rio is good around the bag at first.”
The Bombers are also going to add more arms throwing to those guys behind the plate. McAndrews said William Woods relief pitcher Ryan Schmidt will join the team and Missouri State’s Sam Perez is expected to be added when his college season ends.
Schmidt made two starts and 10 relief appearances this past season at William Woods, going 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA.
“Once they get here, I’ll like our chances a lot better because it’s more depth,” McAndrews said. “The more pitching you have the better chance you have to win six or seven games in a row.”
Perez can join the team once the Bears are finished with postseason play.
Perez has made 26 relief appearances with Missouri State this season, going 9-1 with a 3.44 ERA.
Perez went 4-2 in eight starts last summer with the Bombers. He had an ERA of 2.72.
The new arms of Perez and Schmidt will add to the already deep pitching staff.
Justin Murphey, Burke Echelmeier, Ryan Lee, Dalton Christian and Christopher Mancha have all started games this season.
To keep them healthy, they usually don’t go more than six innings. Leland Tilley, Dylan Hastings, Ryan Wedermeyer, Brady Womacks and Mancha have already made relief appearances.
“In the summer you have to worry about guy’s arms, pitch counts, because I don’t want to run a guy out there for 120, 130 pitches, that’s just not right,” McAndrews said. “The goal is to win, but at the same time be smart about it and send them back to their colleges healthy.”