As the Roadrunners began their latest season at The Stadium, they showed that the team strength is going to speed this summer.
Though they dropped their first two games Wednesday and Thursday, they exhibited some real wheels up and down the lineup, with outfielder Cody McMorris leading the way. The stocky little native Georgian was a blinding blur on the bases in the opener Wednesday and should be an exciting firestarter for the team, coached by new manager Steve Maddock.
The ‘Runners, who made the playoffs once again last season, have several veterans back for another go, including infielders Wilmer Pino, Felix Molina, and Robert Matlock, all .300 hitters last year. Closer Julio Castro, fresh off a season in which he set a career record with 24 saves, is ready to work once again, along with Edinburg native Aaron Guerra, who returns to the starting rotation in 2011 after a couple of effective years in the bullpen.
The steady force behind the plate is Valley favorite Osiel Flores, who can handle the pitchers with the best of them, with old Roadrunner Ryan Harris, who pitched in town for two different stints, back in action for the Red and Blue.
Along with McMorris, lanky outfielder Stantrel Smith has the complete package while newcomer R.J. Harris can run too. Maddock expects to turn his troops loose on the bases with abandon, giving the club some dangerous offensive potential.
The team plays at home Tuesday and Wednesday before heading out on the road for four against the RGV WhiteWings. It returns to The Stadium June 6 to start a four-game series against the league's newest team, the neighboring McAllen Thunder.
Edinburg mayor Richard Garcia threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the opener last week, as the franchise seeks to duplicate 2010's solid attendance figure of about 2,000 per night.