Once you spend a season in Chatham, it's difficult to imagine a better place to be in the summer. Perhaps that's why the 2010 Chatham Anglers return seven players from the 2009 team. This season the squad looks to rebound from a seesaw season that began on a high note as the Anglers were victorious in nine of the first 11 contests. A seven-game losing streak in late July erased the early success and placed Chatham in the sixth and final playoff spot. A nail-biting 4-3 loss to Orleans in the first round put an end to Chatham's first season with the new team name (Anglers from A's) as the team finished with a 21-24 record.
The team sputtered offensively towards the end of the season but any type of lead in the late innings could basically be penciled in as a tally in the win column. Vanderbilt righthanders Taylor Hill and Russell Brewer handled the close victories with great poise. Brewer even earned a spot on the All-League team as he notched 10 saves to go along with a 1.90 ERA.
The winningest manager in CCBL history, John Schiffner returns for his 18th season and welcomes back assistant coaches David Miller and Jay Grenier for a second go-round. There will be a couple of fresh faces on the coaching staff as Tyler Kincaid's tenure as pitching coach has come to an end after five years. Kincaid accepted the pitching coach position at the University of San Diego. Ryan Heil steps in for Kincaid, coming off a strong summer experience last year in the West Coast League as a part of the league champion Corvallis Knights. Roberto Saenz comes in for his first summer in the CCBL as the defensive specialist and third base coach.
More consistency will be expected out of this year's team thanks to the high number of players that will spend their second summer in Chatham. Leading the charge among the returning vets are a pair of effective arms in Boston College sophomore Mike Dennhardt, and Baylor Universitys Logan Verrett. After an excellent 2009 campaign on the Cape in which he compiled a 2-0 record with a 3.09 ERA over 5 appearances (4 starts), Verrett was able to parlay that success into the 2010 collegiate season in which he compiled a 5-3 record for the Bears with a 3.09 ERA over 15 appearances (13 starts), striking out 95 batters over 87.1 innings of regular season work. Dennhardt looks to continue his dominance among Chatham starters, coming off of a 2009 Cape season in which he put together an impressive 2.76 ERA over 8 starts, holding opposing hitters to a .233 average.
Among returning position players, you would be hard-pressed to find a player in the entire league that produced better numbers over the 2010 collegiate season than Ricky Oropesa. After a disappointing 2009 summer season that saw him bat just .171 with no home runs and only 4 RBI, Oropesa blasted 20 home runs for the USC Trojans, hitting .353 with 22 doubles and 67 runs batted in. Joining Ricky will be an Anglers newcomer from Siena College in sophomore Danny Paolini, who at season's end finished 2nd among all Division 1 players with 26 home runs. Paolini was named a 2nd Team NCAA All-American (the first in school history) as well as being named the MAAC Player of the Year, a year after being named the conference's Rookie of the Year.
Other new faces include a pair of promising infielders in Vanderbilt red-shirt sophomore Aaron Westlake and Oklahoma State sophomore Mark Ginther, who both belted 12 home runs for their respective squads, with Ginther batting .320 for the Cowboys and Westlake batting .308 for the Commodores.
The Anglers will also have a legitimate speed threat on the basepaths in Miami freshman Stephen Perez, a former 18th round draft pick out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds. Perez started 57 games at shortstop for the Hurricanes, swiping 21 bases in 25 attempts and is listed by several sources as one of the top freshman prospects in the nation.
Clinching a playoff spot did become a bit easier for Chatham without even playing a game. The league expanded the playoff format so eight of the ten teams will play in the postseason. The playoffs will now consist of three best-of-three series. Another change to the CCBL this season is that the schedule will consist of doubleheaders which should lessen the travel for teams that are farther distances apart. The Anglers will be a part of two doubleheaders this season as they travel to Cotuit on June 19th and host Wareham on June 27th. Also, for the second consecutive season, the CCBL's All-Star Game will once again be held at Fenway Park in Boston on July 28th.
In one of the rainiest seasons the Cape ever experienced in 2009, the Anglers seek to bring some sunshine to the 2010 season at historic Veteran's Field. Games start at 7PM Monday through Saturday and 5:30PM on Sundays.