The Rapids thought about making a mid-season trade several times before today's noon deadline, but instead elected to try upgrading the roster in a different way. The team has signed 2 new rookies, Evan Troy and Levi Poole. They are ages 19 & 20 and both from Longview, WA. To make room on the roster the team has cut Kevin Johnson, who was signed in the offseason after a 3-season stint with the Cobras.
As it stands right now, both new players will bat for the team and Poole will likely pitch behind Ty Johnson. On Dec. 23rd though (2nd half of regular season) Poole might end up throwing a lot more than a normal relief pitcher would be expected to...
"At this point it looks unlikely I'll be able to pitch for the Rapids 3 games on the 23rd," said ace pitcher/general manager, Ty Johnson on his re-injured knee. "We need a pitcher. I think Poole might be promising."
Both Poole and Troy went to Mark Morris HS and were quality athletes. "I hope they will turn out to be good signings," said Ty.
On releasing Kevin Johnson from the team Ty said it was a tough decision, but he believes it was the right one to make given that it will allow the team to go younger. Additionally, Kevin was no longer a pitcher in the JAL and Ty feels the Rapids have enough batting talent collectively that the loss won't hurt them.
What will hurt them though is that their emerging star rookie Troy Flanagan is inactive for games on the 23rd. Basically, at 1-2 and in 4th place, the Rapids will have to find a way to make the playoffs with an injured ace pitcher, 2 "pure rookies" and Jordan Halverson who's struggling so far this season.
If someone had said before the season started that mid-way through this predicted "title contender" would be in this dire of straits at the mid-way point nobody would have believed it....
"This might end up being a rough season for the Rapids," said Ty dejectedly. "But this franchise has pulled off some unexpected runs before."
If he is still unable to pitch for the team on Dec. 23rd, Ty says the decision of who would be the team's ace for their games that night would be made after watching Poole, Halverson and possibly even Troy throw during warm ups. That is a worst case scenario though, as Ty is still holding out hope his knee will be healed in time.
The Rpaids have dropped from #6 to #7 in the power rankings.