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06-19-2008, 12:40 AM
Dragons get new start
The team is 0-0 as the second half of the season begins against Great Lakes.
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By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DAYTON Same teams, same season, new start.

That's the way it is in the Class A Midwest League, where the regular season is neatly cleaved into two 70-game halves.

It's a good thing for the Dayton Dragons unless they repeat their first-half flop.

Dayton opens the second half tonight, June 19, hosting the Great Lakes Loons to begin an eight-game home stand at Fifth Third Field. Both teams are 0-0, and the Dragons will have three new players on the roster.

Joining the team will be pitchers Zachary Stewart of Texas Tech, selected by the Reds in the third round of the free-agent draft two weeks ago, and Henry Arias, who moves over from the Kansas City roster (he was with Burlington in the Midwest League) in the trade for pitcher Brad Salmon. Also rejoining the Dragons is outfielder Brandon Menchaca, who began the season with the team but was sent to extended spring training May 12.

Three pitchers also have been removed from the roster. Jamie Arneson and Steve Otterness were sent to rookie Billings, Mont., while pitcher Juan Rafael was promoted to high Class A Sarasota, Fla.

All this was done in hopes the Dragons will turn around their first-half finish during which they lost 26 of their final 33 games (.212).

One month ago, on May 19, the Dragons were tied for first place with a 22-20 record.

At least the Dragons are starting the second half coming off a victory. They won their last game of the first half, 8-7, at South Bend on Sunday. It was the first time this season they won after trailing through seven innings. They had been 0-33 in that situation.