J'HAWKS UNDERGO 'FACE-LIFT' BAKERSFIELD 9, JETHAWKS 2.
BAKERSFIELD - The end of a first half in the minor leagues is typically a precursor for significant roster shake-ups. But the JetHawks' 12 announced roster moves Sunday qualify as an earthquake.
In one of the most drastic days of changes to the team from a personnel standpoint in franchise history, six players were sent to the JetHawks parent Arizona Diamondbacks' Double-A El Paso (Texas) affiliate, which sent six players to Lancaster.
Gone are the heralded ``Three Amigos.'' Outfielders Conor Jackson (El Camino Real High of Woodland Hills) and Carlos Quentin, and third baseman Jamie D'Antona had combined for 39 homers and 162 RBI going into Sunday. Also gone are staff ace Clint Goocher, closer Jason Bulger and second baseman Neb Brown.
In their last game before being dissolved, the first-half-champion JetHawks suffered a 9-2 loss to the Bakersfield Blaze in front of 1,111 at Sam Lynn Ballpark, where they've lost 17 of their past 21 going back to 2000.
Several of the team's new additions are familiar faces. Third baseman Dan Uggla a 2003 California League All-Star, and outfielder Jay Garthwaite were with the team all of last season and part of 2002. Also, outfielder Doc Brooks started the season in Lancaster and was batting .391 (25 for 64) with five homers and 17 RBI before being assigned to El Paso in late May.
Also added to the JetHawks roster are right-handed pitchers Sergio Lizarraga and Sam Smith, and second baseman Steve Garrabrants.
JetHawks manager Wally Backman said the ``face-lift'' leaves the team with less power, but with better starting pitching and defense.
``We're going to be different, but we're still going to be good,'' Backman said.
The JetHawks concluded the half losing four consecutive games since clinching their first-half title Wednesday.
Jackson had a bloop single to left in the sixth in his last game with the JetHawks, extending his hitting streak to a new California League-high 19 games.
--Note: The JetHawks eventually lost to Bakersfield 8-7 in 13 innings Saturday after blowing a three-run lead going into the bottom of the 12th.
--Matchup: Left-hander Cliff McMachen (0-0, 3.72 ERA) will pitch for the JetHawks when they play on the road against Visalia at 6:30 tonight. Buddy Gallagher (4-3, 7.11) will pitch for the Oaks.
Gideon Rubin, (818) 713-3607
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jun 21, 2004|
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