The Wenatchee AppleSox' roster is still in a bit of flux 20 games into the West Coast League season. Here's an update on four players that you might be wondering about.
- James Kaprielian, RHP, Beckman (Calif.) HS, UCLA signee: This promising hurler is with the team at Kitsap, but Sox manager Ed Knaggs and pitching coach Rob Hippi are being very cautious with him. Kaprielian had some shoulder soreness after the high school season, and is being brought along slowly. Knaggs said he threw a bullpen at 70 percent earlier this week and was impressive. Still, Knaggs doesn't think Kaprielian will be ready to get into a game until late next week at the earliest.
- Chris Keck, OF/1B, UCLA: Keck made the last out of the Bruins' season, grounding out as a pinch-hitter against Florida State in the College World Series. Even so, Keck had been playing through a shoulder injury that is severe enough that it will keep him from coming to Wenatchee this summer. This news, just confirmed last night, has Knaggs searching for another bat, preferably one that can help spell Ryan Drobny at first base. WVC players Jordan Osborn and Connor Huesers were impressive as 10-day guys, and are still in Wenatchee, but only Osborn fits into the first-base plan.
- Jake Fife, RHP, Central Washington: The former Selah and Yakima Valley Community College star was impressive in limited duty with the Sox this summer (1-0, 3.86 ERA in 7IP), but suffered a back injury a few weeks ago that didn't really heal as he would like. He will be headed back to Selah, but still plans to follow Hippi to CWU next fall.
- Derek Blankenship, UTL, George Fox: Blankenship's summer is also over after an MRI revealed a Grade 2 tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. It's a tough blow to the Sox, as Blankenship was not only productive as a No. 2 hitter, (.283 in 14 games) but a universally beloved teammate. He could have stuck around as purely a DH, but Knaggs feels that Blankenship should rest up for his junior season at George Fox.