Revamped Zephyrs

Updated: August 28, 2016

zephyrs-featured2/13/2024: Reno, NV The Reno Zephyrs saw their 2023 season end in disappointment. The team wasn’t expected to be a contender but, none-the-less they had hoped to play somewhat respectable baseball.  That did not happen as they notched 111 losses and a last-place finish in the Desert Hills Division.  The front office held several meetings during the off-season brainstorming on the best way to avoid a repeat of the years of 2011 through 2015, where they lost over 100 games five seasons in a row.

The team attacked their problem from all angles acquiring players via a contraction draft, Rule V Draft, the trade market, free agency and minor league promotions.  No stone was left unturned in searching for position upgrades.  When the dust settled, the 25-man roster saw nine new faces.

Of course the most significant acquisition came via the contraction draft.  Reno selected third baseman Christian Webb.  Webb is the complete package and will improve the offense and defense in a big way.  Webb also brings his extensive leadership skills.  It is hard to overestimate the value of a player such as Webb.

Knowing there was still work to be done, Reno brought in five new arms for the pitching staff.  Allen Guthrie and Hisamitsu Suzuki were added via free agency.  Fernando Valera was added via a trade with the Kentucky Thoroughbreds and Héctor Rivera and Denny Lowe came via the Rule V Draft.  No matter how you look at it, adding five new arms is a major overhaul for a pitching staff.  It remains to be seen if/how well they perform on the field but, on paper they look to be a significant upgrade from last season.

Other new faces on offense include center fielder and former 1st round draft pick Roy Meeks.  Meeks is expected to add solid on base skills as well as speed and defense.  Speaking of defense, Torazo Kodama is expected to break spring training with the team.  The young shortstop might not be ready to punish PEBA pitching but his glove and footwork are fully PEBA ready.  Reno also added catcher Tomás Silva via the same trade that brought in Valera.  The front office however is rumored to be still exploring all possible options for an upgrade at catcher.

The new look Zephyrs might not strike fear in the hearts of the Sovereign League but they should be able to accomplish their modest goal of avoiding another 100-loss season.