Led by a core group of senior players and a brand new head coach, the North Delta Blue Jays are hoping to find a perfect blend of new and old during the 2013 PBL season. This year's squad features several players who won a provincial championship two years ago as part of the North Delta Junior Blue Jays, and they hope to carry that winning experience into this year's campaign.
On the mound, Brett Sakaki, Luke Manuel, Ryan Braun and Evan Rogers will be counted upon to log a significant portion of the innings and provide quality starts. Manuel led the Blue Jays last season with 53.9 innings pitched and posted a 3.39 ERA in the process, while Sakaki had a 2.55 mark to go along with 25 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. Braun moves up from the junior team after posting a league leading 1.27 ERA over 77.0 innings pitched.
Lefty Matt Fischer along with right handed pitchers Dylan MacAhonic and Ryo Takenaka will also see significant time on the bump. Dylan pitched 74.1 innings with an ERA of 4.33 with the Junior Jays last year. Ryo struck out 44 batters in 48.1 innings with the Junior Jays in 2012 finishing with an ERA of 3.47
Behind them is a defence that will rely on their speed to be successful. Brad Antchak and Clint Taylor will act as a strong presence up the middle, while Trent Fletcher will take care of business at first base. Trevor Brammer and Mitch Boychuk will also see their share of time in the infield.
Patrolling the outfield will be Riley Grewal, Ryo Takenaka, Malcolm Boehm and Jordy Cunningham. All four have strong arms and good speed, which will prove important in order for them to cover the vast Mackie Park outfield.
As for the catchers, Brad O'Hara and Brock Morgan will share the majority of the time behind the plate.
On offence, Brammer, Fletcher and Antchak are three players who will be expected to produce in the heart of the lineup. Antchak hit .292 last year in 42 games last season for the senior team, and Fletcher posted a .304 clip in 46 at bats. Brammer is moving up from the junior team where he hit .327 during the 2012 campaign.
Taylor will regularly hit near the top of the lineup and is expected to be a table setter for the aforementioned hitters. Cunningham and O'Hara are two others who possess strong speed on the base paths and will be counted on to create scoring opportunities.
Calling the shots this year will be new coach Brad O'Hara. In his second year with the club, O'Hara will take over the head coaching duties for the senior team this season after moving up from being an assistant on the Jays junior squad. He will be assisted this season by Mike Hughes, Christian Jolley, Al McKay and former Jay Michael Caleb. Brent Crowther will oversee the role of pitching coach for the second straight season. Larry Waddell is the general manager.