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Adamson backs young Bite pitchers
Teenage starter set to star for Adelaide
11/08/2017 1:23 AM ET
Chris Adamson chatting to Josh Altmann and Stefan Welch during a pitching change (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Chris Adamson chatting to Josh Altmann and Stefan Welch during a pitching change (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA 

Rookie Adelaide manager Chris Adamson believes strong Australian pitching depth will help take the Bite to a fourth-straight playoff series.

Teenager Jack O'Loughlin will rejoin Adelaide's starting rotation after a successful rookie season and Steven Chambers will aim to bounce back after battling for form in 2016/17.

While Australians Chris Horne, Nick Hutchings, Greg Mosel, Ky Hampton and Matt Williams all figure in Adamson's bullpen plan.

 "I like where our Australian pitching is at," he said.

"Nick Hutchings is back and healthy after playing quite a few years in pro-ball.

"Ky Hampton is really impressive and has a slow heartbeat, it can be easy for young kids to go into tough situations and everything speeds up but he is so in control.

"And Chris Horne has the potential to start so we do have a decent amount of depth when it comes local guys.

"There is a few kids waiting in the wings as well."

O'Loughin (pictured), 17, returns for a second season with the Bite ahead of his first spring training with the Detroit Tigers.

"He solidified his spot as not only one of our best starters but one of the better starters in the entire league," Adamson said.

" The way he goes about it and how calm he is when runners are on base is unbelievable to watch.

"His maturity is something that is really, really impressive."

Adelaide has added imports Chris Powell and Max Beatty to its rotation after last season using a league-high 12 starters.

"I feel good about our depth in terms of starting pitching this year," Adamson said.

"We've got two import starters coming in which will alleviate that rotation system, for better choice of a word, that we had going last year with club-ball teams."

Reliever Loek Van Mil returns for a third ABL season with the Bite after leading Adelaide with eight saves in 2016/17, while Williams and Mosel can also pitch in late innings.

"With Van Mil at the back end it helps to shorten the game a little bit," Adamson said.

"Ideally if we can get the ball to him with a lead I like the position that we're in.

 "We've got some decent arms we can roll out."

Adamson's reliance on Australian pitchers frees up import spots for offensive players as the Bite prepare to cover the loss of Australian stars Stefan Welch and Mitch Dening.

The Bite have added Stephen Lohr (infielder), Darius Day (outfielder) and Isaias Quiros (catcher) from the Texas Rangers, along with Houston Astros shortstop Rodrigo Ayarza and Taiwanese legend Chang Tai-shan.

"We identified some areas where we might be a little bit thin or might need a bit of help and were selective with how we put together our imports," he said.

Adamson said Welch and Dening had chosen to take some time away from the game for family reasons.

He was hopeful Dening might feature in the second half of the season, but was confident Adelaide could cover the losses.

"It opens up a door for quite a few young kids that are knocking on the door," Adamson said.

"Angus Roeger is a really experienced guy who will be an important part of the middle of the order and Jordan McArdle will slot into the middle too.

"Along with import Stephen Lohr that's a pretty good 1-2-3 punch."

Former ABL Rookie of the Year Ben Lodge is also a chance to link up with the Bite later in the season.

Adelaide starts its ABL season on the road against Sydney on November 17.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.