Rattler Baseball 2015 season outlook
February 5, 2015
With the 2015 season just one short week away, the Rattlers feel confident that they are ready to start the season.
“We’ve had great weather for January, so we have been able to get outside and inter-squad as scheduled,” Carrillo said.
The Rattlers hope to use this nice January weather to their advantage and start the season in the right direction with a few wins opening weekend in Roswell, N.M. The Rattlers’ season opens February 7 against New Mexico Military Institute for a four game set.
According to Carrillo, “The last two weekends of inter-squads have produced a lot of positive things as well as a lot of things the team needs to work on in order to get better. Overall, we feel that the guys are continuing to make progress in a positive direction and they are excited to start spring season.”
The Rattlers are coming off a solid season last year with a 30-26 record. The Rattlers competed in the Region IX championship last May and fell short, losing in extra innings in game one of the Region IX championship.
“We are coming back from a rough loss in the tournament this past year, but we are using that as motivation to get back to the Region IX championship this spring,” said Carrillo.
A key ingredient to the Rattlers success in 2015 will be the pitching staff. This year Otero returns its top starters: Jarrett Bott (2.38 ERA, 41.2 innings pitched), Branden Feldman (1.72 ERA, 31.1 innings pitched), and Dallas Oquist (3.01 ERA, 68.2 innings pitched). Southpaw, Steven Bishop will also be a big factor for Otero this spring. Bishop had a great fall and he will be making his way into the weekend rotation for his sophomore campaign.
The Rattlers have Brayden Price, Brett Hull, Marvin Ortiz and Jorge Venegas working out of the bullpen in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to close games out for the Rattlers.
Carrillo was anxious to see how his pitchers would perform in the first scrimmage. He liked what he saw on Saturday.
“For the most part, all of our guys competed and threw strikes, especially for the first outing,” Carrillo stated. “Each time they go out on the mound, they will continue to get better and better. They want to think they can pick right up where they left off last May, but it’s not like that. It is more of a gradual pace,” explained Carrillo.
“We will continue to scrimmage on Saturday and Sunday and up until the first game. Our plan is to get the players into that routine because that is when we will be playing once the season starts. We may have to adjust to weather some, but we will get right back out there the next day,” Carrillo said.
A few sophomore key position players that the Rattlers are excited about this upcoming spring are sophomore starting catcher James Cordova from Albuquerque, N.M. Last spring Cordova finished the season with a .283 batting average and was a 2nd team all-region player. Returning starting shortstop for the Rattlers Juandy Mendoza, who finished the season with a .284 batting average, will be handling the shortstop duties again this spring for the Rattlers.
Freshman position players to watch for this spring are: outfielder Grant Templin from Rio Rancho, N.M., third baseman Josh Young from Hobbs, N.M., outfielder Mathew Ing from Canada, and Tanner Wade from Albuquerque, N.M. Wade is coming off an injury that didn’t allow him to play last spring. Wade is going to leadoff for the Rattlers and play two bag.
The Otero Junior College baseball program is extremely excited about the upcoming season. They look forward to seeing their fans at the field this spring.