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Rainout gives remodeled Suns a chance to regroup

June 13, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

If the Hagerstown Suns were a Broadway show, you could say they went through a recasting.

The main cast of characters has moved on. Now it's time for the understudies and new talent to take over.

The curtain was ready to go up on Tuesday as the New Kids on the Block donned the white uniforms. Unfortunately, it was a shower curtain.

The debut of the reconfigured Suns was put off for a day as stormy weather prevented the start of the game, turning the second game of the series with Lakewood into the first game of today's doubleheader beginning at 6:05 p.m.

If it accomplished anything for Hagerstown, it gave the Suns a chance to regain some calm after the upheaval of having four key players promoted.

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"It could be (a blessing in disguise)," said Suns manager Tommy Herr. "It will give the new guys a chance to settle in and get some rest. There were a couple of them that had to drive all day to get here and didn't make it to the park until the end of batting practice."

The Suns clubhouse was in perpetual motion, as first baseman Brett McMillan and outfielders Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell and Mike Daniel left to join the Single-A Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League.

Coming on the flip-flop were infielder Robert Jacobsen from extended spring training in Florida and outfielders Marvin Lowrance and Francisco Plasencia, who came from Potomac. Outfielder Sheldon Fulse, who returned from Double-A Harrisburg, was already in town.

It's not that the new cast would have been unable to play, but it just makes it easier for a fresh start.

"That's the nature of minor league baseball," Herr said. "The players make adjustments. Everyone had seen all these guys during spring training, so it's nothing major."

The major unknown is what kind of team the Suns will become with the moves. The four departing players - along with Alex Nunez, who was promoted on Sunday - accounted for 67 percent of Hagerstown's home runs.

"We lost a lot of our home run potential," Herr said. "But we picked up more speed. We will have to score in different ways, but I still think we will be an efficient offensive team."

If there is a fortunate thing about the rainout and the timing of the moves, it is that the Suns will have time to adjust before the start of the second half, which begins June 21.

"Moves like this does shake the psyche of the team," Herr said. "You lose some personalities and you gain some different ones. It will take some time to get them together."

Even with all the moves, the Suns will play again today ... provided it doesn't rain.

"(The departing players) did what they needed to do here to move," Herr said. "They did what everyone had hoped for. They were all a success and stepped up."

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