Lookouts Return Plenty of Experience to Start the New Season

Last season the Chattanooga Lookouts captured their first Southern League Championship since 1988.
And since the Lookouts return several players from that title team, coaches and players believe they can make another run at the league crown this season.
The last time the Lookouts were at AT&T Field, they were celebrating a Southern League title, and that memory is still tangible.
Said pitcher David Hurlbut-“We walked in the clubhouse. The championship. The celebration we had in there. You could still see. You could still smell the champaign.”
Added manager Doug Mientkiewicz-“I looked in the dugout because the last time I was standing in that dugout, I fist-pumped like I almost knocked myself out.”
The Lookouts lineup last year could nearly fist-pump the ball out of the park. While Adam Brett Walker and Byron Buxton are gone, it appears Chattanooga will still pack some punch.
Said pitcher Jason Wheeler-“We’ve got some guys who can hit the ball a long way. We’ve got Dan Palka, one of our new additions here. Mitch Garver can swing it pretty well. Dalton Hicks played here last year. He’s got some pop there. I do think we are going to surprise people with some power that we do have.”
Added catcher Stuart Turner-“We may have more of a balanced lineup from top to bottom this year because we’re not going to rely on the (Miguel) Sano or the Buxton or the (Max) Kepler or even the Walker to hit the three-run homerun.”
You win with pitching, and the Lookouts will run plenty of strong arms to the mound.
Said Mientkiewicz-“We have more pitching depth in our organization than we’ve ever had since I’ve been with the Twins. 1996 or 1995. We have a lot of guys that are here that deserve to be in Triple-A. We have a lot of guys in A-ball that deserve to be in Double-A. It’s going to breed more competition than we’ve ever had as far as pitching goes.”
Chattanooga also has experience with 19 players back from last year’s title team.
Said outfielder Travis Harrison-“Obviously we had a good year last year. A lot of those core guys are back again. We’re exciting to do the same thing.”
While the new season brings excitement, Chattanooga has to start on the road, and that means hopping on the bus.
Chuckles Hurlbut-“Bus rides are never fun. (laughs) The best bus rides are the short bus rides.” (laughter)
Sadly, it’s not a short ride to Biloxi for Chattanooga’s season opener on Thursday. The Lookouts home debut will be on April 12th against Jackson.

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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