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NEWS FLASH

JetHawks' Roster Has a Familiar Look

April 01, 1998|STEVE HENSON

Fans attending the Lancaster JetHawks' opener Thursday will have a familiar feeling, and not only because the California League team is beginning its third season at The Hanger.

A dozen of the 25 players assigned by the Seattle Mariners to the Class-A affiliate also played for the JetHawks last season.

"It's common for players to spend two seasons in a high Class-A league," said JetHawk pitching coach Jim Slaton, who has six returners on his staff. "Last season several of our opponents had a lot more experience than us because they had guys in their second California League season."

Jason Bond, 5-7 with 123 strikeouts in 110 innings last season, returns to the starting rotation. Also back is Aaron Scheffers, who was 11-3 in 1997.

"There's a bit of a logjam in the organization with pitchers," Scheffers said.

The Mariners are sharing roster spots on their double-A team in Orlando, Fla., with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays, making for fewer promotions.

Other returnees include shortstop Joel Ramirez, who batted .280 last season, second baseman Jason Regan, who hit 22 home runs in 69 games after joining the JetHawks at midseason, outfielder Luis Tinoco and catchers Karl Thompson and Greg Connors.

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