Giants Know Rotation, At Least For This Week
The trainer is still trying to figure out who's who, but Dan Spillner has at least figured out who'll pitch for the Everett Giants - for the first week at least.
"You would have to ask me that," complained Paul Eckard, the team's trainer. "We gave these guys uniforms with numbers, but we've had to switch some of them around." Rob Ellis is beginning his first season as the team's manager. Mike Bubalo will serve as a coach and Dan Spillner is the pitching coach.
Spillner has the pitchers sorted out.
Lenny Ayres, who appeared in 22 games as a relief pitcher for Everett last year, will draw tonight's start in Bellingham. Ayres, from Kennewick, was signed as a free agent by the San Francisco Giants last year after playing at Lower Columbia Community College.
Tim Luther, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander from Missouri Southern University, will draw the starting assignment for tomorrow's home opener.
Bill VanLandingham, a 6-2, 205-pound left-hander from the University of Kentucky will start Wednesday's game in Bellingham, Shawn Henrichs, a right-hander from Linn-Benton Junior College in Oregon will start Thursday at home against Bellingham and Doug Vanderweele, from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, will start Friday's game against Southern Oregon in Everett.
"Lenny is probably the closest player we have to being able to throw five, six, seven innings," Spillner said. "A lot of these guys haven't pitched in a three or four weeks and you can't get an arm ready to throw 70, 80, 90 pitches in a week."
Spillner also has pegged which players will be called upon to work short relief: Jaron Juelsgaard, Rich Hyde and Ken Grundt.
"The rest of the guys will all have to be ready to go at any time," Spillner said.
The Giants will have a visibly older team this year.
San Francisco started an Arizona Rookie League operation at its Scottsdale, Ariz., spring training facility and assigned all its high school draftees there, leaving Everett with college-age players.
"The thing is, most of these players have all come out of Division I college programs," Spillner said. "They've come out of quality programs."
The team has bonded quickly, responded to coaching quickly, and is ready to start playing tonight, he said.
The job of the coaching staff will be to watch and evaluate players for the first few weeks. This first season of professional baseball gives the parent Giants a chance to see what their draftees can do.
"I'm not here to change anybody," Spillner said.
"Most of these guys don't need to have me do too much.
"I'm just here to help them when they need it."
-- Dax Jones, an outfielder from Creighton University, signed a San Francisco contract Friday and arrived in Everett yesterday. Still unsigned is the Giants' top draft pick, pitcher Steve Whitaker from Cal-State Long Beach, who was taken in the second round of the draft.
But the arrival of Jones still leaves the Giants without something it could really use, Spillner said.
"What we really need is a flake," Spillner said. "Someone who is really crazy and can keep everybody loose."
-- Most of the players will stay in family homes.
Judith Adams, mother of former Juanita pitcher and current Giant reliever Mike "Moose" Adams, has her son, catcher Frank Charles and pitcher Darren Wittke living at her home this summer.
"All the fruit is gone - they've eaten everything," she said last night.
"I told them that, after practice, we were going to stop at the grocery store and they could buy whatever they want."
Several other families are looking for extra beds for the players. Anyone wishing to donate a bed can contact the Everett Giants at 258-3673. -- The Seattle Mariners aren't the only team to carry on a family tradition.
Everett won't have a father-son pairing in its outfield, but it does have a father-son connection with San Francisco. Everett outfielder Ken Henderson Jr., is the son of former Giant outfielder Ken Henderson.
The elder Henderson played for the Giants from 1965 to 1972 before finishing his career with the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds. -- The team plays a short-season Class A schedule of 76 games. -- The Giants play in the Northern Division of the Northwest League.
Also in that division are the Bellingham Mariners (a Seattle farm team), the Yakima Bears (Los Angeles) and Spokane Indians (San Diego).
The Southern Division consists of the Eugene Emeralds, Bend Bucks, Southern Oregon A's and Boise Hawks. ----------------------
EVERETT GIANTS / AT A GLANCE
-- HOME FIELD: Everett Memorial Stadium (cap. 2,400), 39th and Broadway in Everett (just off exit 192 on Interstate 5). -- TV-RADIO: Radio, KWYZ 1230 AM, pregame at 6:50 p.m.; TV, delayed telecast of tomorrow's home opener Wednesday, Prime Sports Northwest, 7 p.m. -- TICKETS: $5.25 and $4.25 for adults, $3.75 and $2.75 for children 14-and-under. For orders or info, call 258-3673 or Ticketmaster at 628-0888. -- MANAGER: Rob Ellis, first year. -- AFFILIATION: Class A (short season) farm team for San Francisco Giants. -- 1990 HIGHLIGHTS: 35-41 record, third in Northwest League Northern Division. -- SEASON OPENER: Today at Bellingham, 7 p.m. -- HOME OPENER: Tomorrow at Everett, 7 p.m.
Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.