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Burning questions - Adelaide
Three burning questions for the Bite in 2018/19
11/01/2018 1:27 AM ET
 

Adelaide managed just 11 wins last season as they fell to the bottom of the ABL standings with a thud.

Manager Chris Adamson will take a youthful squad full of promising prospects into the new season.

Here are three burning questions for the Bite ahead of the ABL season getting underway:

 

1. Will they follow in the Heat's footsteps?

Adelaide only has to look as far back as last season to see the path it wants to take.

The Heat added 12 wins to their tally from a season earlier on their way to a return to the playoffs.

Perth's success came on the back of strong imports, flourishing young talent and continued output from their experienced heads.

The Bite will be confident they have those same elements this season as they chase a playoff berth out of the South-West division.

Adelaide has added impressive imports, including former MLB second round pick Michael Gettys and Mookie Betts' cousin Nick Shumpert.

They have also added 2016/2017 Helms Award winner Aaron Whitefield and 19-year-old catcher Mitch Edwards to their existing list of young talent, which includes affiliated talent Jordan McArdle (Diamondbacks) and Curtis Mead (Phillies).

Finally, Bite all-time hits leader Stefan Welch returns to provide some much-needed experience, which Adelaide lacked last campaign.

They have the pieces, now the Bite just have to put it together.

 

2. How will Stefan Welch's comeback go?

Welch took a year away from the ABL in 2017/18 but his return provides valuable experience to the Bite.

The former Team Australia third baseman should return to the heart of Adelaide's batting line-up, taking pressure off Angus Roeger and Jordan McArdle.

Welch, now 30, hit .266 with 17 RBIs in 33 games during his most recent season with the Bite.

He brings 244 games of experience, along with 231 hits, 33 home runs and 155 RBIs.

Welch, who won a SABL title with Goodwood last summer, has recorded at least 15 runs batted in during all of his seven ABL seasons.

Before his season away from the ABL he also held down third base for Adelaide.

He might take a few games to settle back in but will play an important role for the young Bite side.

 

3. Does the Bite pitching staff have more depth?

Adelaide has lost closer Loek van Mil to Brisbane, but manager Chris Adamson would be happy with his pitching options for the new season.

The Bite have added experienced American duo Kurt Heyer and Ryan Chaffee, along with former Sydney starter Markus Solbach.

South Australian Tom Fitzgerald has signed after a college stint and Queenslander Todd McDonald has been working with pitching coach Luke Prokopec and could be an option on the mound as the season goes on.

Solbach and Heyer are likely starters for the Bite.

Chaffee is a late-innings option for Adamson.

The 30-year-old former Miami Marlins prospect worked 70 games for the Atlantic League's Southern Maryland in 2018, finishing with a 3.80 ERA.

Heyer made 19 starts for Southern Illinois in the Frontier League, going 8-7 with a 3.96 ERA.

 

What are your burning questions for the Bite?

 

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