News 12 @ 6 Monday June 2, 2008
Augusta, GA – The 2008 South Atlantic League All-Star team has been announced and once again the GreenJackets pitchers have been highlighted. Starting pitchers Madison Bumgarner, Daryl Maday and closer Daniel Otero were all selected to be part of the 49th-Annual All-Star game in the SAL as part of the Southern Division roster. Augusta manager Andy Skeels was also named as one of the coaches.
This is the second straight year Augusta has sent only pitchers to the mid-summer classic which will be held in Greensboro, NC on June 17th. “It’s well deserved for all three pitchers,” GreenJackets Pitching Coach Ross Grimsley said. “They have pitched outstanding and did everything asked of them and more.”
Bumgarner was the top pick by the Giants in the 2007 draft and 10th overall. This is the lefties first professional season and he has parlayed it into an All-Star appearance in his first pro season. Bumgarner leads the team in wins (5), tied for the team lead in strikeouts (59) and starts (10), second in innings pitched (51.1), and is second in ERA (2.10) among the starters on the staff. “Bumgarner has been great this year,” Skeels said. “For a young kid who never played a full season of baseball, he has handled it well and has just come right at people with no fear.”
Maday started the season in the bullpen for Augusta and in eight games out of the ‘pen the righty went 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA over 24.0 innings earning a promotion to the starting role. Maday’s overall ERA of 1.97 over 45.2 innings pitched is second best on the team. “Maday really impresses me because he made the transition from reliever to starter,” Skeels said. “It takes a different mentality to do one or the other and he has handled each excellent.” Maday is second on the team in strikeouts with 49 while walking just seven this season.
When the season began there was no clear cut closer, however Otero solidified his spot as the closer and as one the best in the league.
“It was kind of hard to overlook at the beginning of the year because every time he went out he just didn’t give up a run,” Skeels said. “We always try to find where guys fit in at spring training but Otero just took over that closing role at the beginning of the season.”
Otero has yet to allow a single run over his 20 games and 22.1 innings pitched. Otero has walked just two while striking out 21 and has recorded 14 saves this season, third best in the SAL. Named as the 2007 Class-A Relief Pitcher of the Year by Minor League Baseball, Otero has continued the success of 2007 into the 2008 season.
For Skeels, this is his first year as Manager for the GreenJackets and he has guided the GreenJackets to a 33-23 mark over the first two months of the season. This will be Skeels first appearance to the South Atlantic League All-Star game as one of the coaches.
“It’s always a trill to be invited to an All-Star Game,” Skeels said. “Anytime you can be around the best players in any league it’s always going to be good.”