BY GEORGE J. DACRE
Rockland Boulders management says we will see a lot of new players on the CanAm League on opening day May 16 at Provident Bank Ball Park. Under the watch of new manager Jamie Keefe, the team has been upgraded in an attempt to knock off the 4-time defending league champions, the Quebec Capitales. Returning fan-favorite players include pitcher Bobby Blevins, team ace and leading starter, outfielder Chris Valencia and shortstop Matt Nardin, with Nardin recently reacquired, along with pitchers Pat Moran and Garrett Johnson and catcher Billy Alvino.
Manager Keefe has added center-fielder Donnie Webb, who played Triple A baseball with the Cleveland Indians and outfielder brothers Jarod and Chris Edmondson. Chris played for the St. Louis Cardinals A team in the Florida State League last season. Jarod was a CanAm League All-star in 2011 at Pittsfield batting .315 with 17 home runs. He comes in a trade from the Newark Bears.
Infielder Stephen Cardullo, a former First Team All-American shortstop at Florida State University in 2009, has been acquired from Evansville in the Frontier League and will be joined in the infield by Nick DelGuidice, former farmhand with the Kansas City Royals Camden River Sharks. Catcher Scott Knazek has been signed by the Boulders along with Newburgh native Ricky Pacione to compete for the starting catcher position. Pacione was a 48th round draft pick of the California Angels in 2011 and will compete with Alvino and Knazek for the starting catcher position.
Newly signed for the pitching staff is right-hander Alex Kreis (Nationals), left-handers T.J. Wink and Dan Sausville and right-hander Kevin Fuqua who came to the Boulders from Fargo-Morehead Redhawks as part of the Keith Brachold trade. Fuqua worked 47 appearances last season with the Redhawks.
Steve Balsan of the Rockland Boulders contributed to this report.