Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Cleburne, TX
Fire damage to your home is one of the most traumatizing, frightening tragedies a person can experience. This is especially true in apartment buildings and multifamily homes, where dozens if not hundreds of families are affected by fire and smoke damage. When a fire rips through an apartment building, the property damage can be catastrophic. But the damage caused by fires doesn't end once the flames have been extinguished. Victims are left wondering what happens next now that their belongings are destroyed. When will they have a roof over their again?
In these circumstances, prompt, purpose-driven fire damage restoration is key to reducing victims' financial and emotional strain.
The National Fire Protection Association states that a structure fire is reported every 65 seconds. When the fire alarm sounds, emergency responders answer the call for help with decisive action. But once the smoke clears, Atlas National Renovations' team of fire restoration experts step in to give hope to property managers, apartment tenants, and commercial property owners.
With decades of combined experience in disaster recovery, ANR understands the complexities associated with commercial and apartment building fires. We have helped the top multifamily groups in Texas recover their tenants' homes and belongings with care and compassion. If you're a property manager and you're still reeling from a fire disaster, know that we're here to help you too.
At Atlas National Renovations, our expert project managers and technicians play key roles in complicated fire restoration projects. We specialize in restoring Class A, B, and C properties like apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, multifamily buildings, mixed-use developments, large commercial properties, and more.
- Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Cleburne, TX
- Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Cleburne, TX
- Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
- Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
- Trustworthy Fire Damage Restoration for Businesses in Cleburne, TX
- Discover the Atlas DifferenceDiscover the Top Restoration in Cleburne, TX
If you're looking for a top-tier fire damage restoration company in Cleburne, look no further than ANR. We're the top pick when it comes to large, detailed fire restoration projects because we:
- Are a Trusted Partner in Restoration and Disaster Recovery
- Adhere to OSHA Standards and State & Federal Regulations
- Use the Latest Equipment & Remediation Techniques
- Offer Innovative Solutions to Detailed Problems
- Provide Seasoned Project Managers for Each Fire Restoration Project
- Give Clients Clear and Consistent Communication
- Work with Insurance Companies
- Have a Knowledgeable & Courteous Leadership Team
Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Cleburne, TX
Owners and managers of apartment complexes know that the safety of their tenants is a major responsibility. Unfortunately, nobody can completely control when apartment fires occur. Fires in apartments and multifamily buildings may start small, but they spread quickly, often destroying several living spaces. These frightening fires destroy prized heirlooms, important documents, and can even be fatal. However, the work is only beginning once the fire is put out and lives are saved.
In the aftermath of a disaster, figuring out the next steps is hard. During this difficult time, it's important to be prepared. As a property manager or owner, having a fire damage restoration company on your checklist of resources is crucial.
Unlike residential fires, apartment and multifamily building fires add several more layers of complexity and stress. In these situations, you deserve a restoration partner that you can trust without question, and that company is Atlas National Renovations.
With years of experience guiding our technicians and project managers, the ANS team responds quickly to your fire damage emergency. Using advanced protocols and state-of-the-art restoration equipment, we get to work quickly to repair and restore your commercial property to its pre-loss condition. While restoring your property, we always keep your tenant's care and comfort in mind.
Our fire restoration services in Cleburne are comprehensive and include the following:
- Rapid Mobilization and Response
- Overall Catastrophe Management
- Emergency Board-Up Services
- Debris Removal and Disposal
- Apartment Content Inventory and Cleaning
- Soot and Smoke Removal Services
- Water Extraction
- HVAC Cleaning and Decontamination
- Shoring Installment to Secure Buildings
- Interior & Exterior Renovations
Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
It's imperative to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side during a fire crisis.
When you call ANS, our fire restoration experts can help walk you through the steps you need to take once a fire occurs. This allows us to quickly gain control of the restoration project on your behalf. Once we have inspected your property, we'll provide a detailed report and scope of work for your fire damage restoration project.
ANS repairs all property damage caused by soot, smoke, and fire. Our IICRC-certified fire restoration teams construct the best plan to quickly get your building back to its pre-loss condition.
Because every property is different, each fire restoration project for apartment buildings is too. However, every fire disaster will have a similar process and will often include:
Your fire restoration process begins when you call our headquarters. Our specialist will ask you a series of questions about the fire event that occurred. That way, we can arrive on-site with the proper resources and equipment.
Fire Damage Assessment
Our fire damage restoration team will carefully inspect the entirety of your apartment complex, from building to building and room to room. We do so to determine the extent of your apartment's fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a comprehensive restoration plan.
First responders like firefighters must break windows and cut holes in roofs to slow fire growth and save lives. Once the fire is out, our team can get to work, boarding up holes and constructing temporary fencing around the property.
If there is water damage associated with your apartment fire, we'll remove most of the water immediately. From there, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to help complete the drying process.
Smoke and Soot Removal
Within minutes of a fire, walls, electronics, and other surfaces are covered in soot. Smoke and ash continue to cause damage to every inch of your apartment building. That's why ANS uses specialized equipment to remediate smoke damage and remove odors. This process is often labor-intensive and can take time, especially for large fire damage restoration needs.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Using a variety of restoration and cleaning techniques, our team will help clean restorable items and sanitize units for safety.
Getting your apartment buildings to their pre-fire conditions is our ultimate goal. Depending on the size and scope of the fire restoration job, minor repairs like painting, drywall replacement, and new carpet installation might be needed. You might also need major structural renovations like re-siding, re-roofing, new window installation, floor replacement, and more.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
If you're a property manager or own multifamily residential buildings, the thought of an apartment fire is terrifying. What starts as a small fire can quickly turn into a catastrophic event, with your entire complex up in flames. However, one of the best ways of preventing these fires is to know more about them.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Turn Off Heat Sources
Data shows that a large number of apartment fires begin with cooking. Often, these fires are caused by the ignition of common items like rags, curtains, wallpapers, and bags. Encourage tenants to keep their kitchens and cooking areas clear of combustibles. Never leave a stove unattended for long, and don't leave burners on by themselves. Unintentional mishaps like leaving heat sources on are common causes of fires that can be prevented with a little forethought.
Like heat sources, electrical malfunctions are also common causes of fires in apartment complexes. It's hard to prevent all electrical malfunctions, but you can tell tenants to avoid bad habits. Tips include never using extension cords as permanent solutions and never using a cable if the third prong is missing.
Appliances are a part of everyone's lives. They're also standard equipment in most apartment units. But if tenants don't take proper precautions, these useful tools can spark deadly fires.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
No matter how large or small, fires are nightmare scenarios for entrepreneurs with commercial properties. Fire damage can completely ruin storefronts and offices, leaving charred remains and burned-up files before firefighters arrive. To make matters worse, soot and smoke damage ruin your businesses' furniture, HVAC system, carpet, walls, and windows.
To eliminate health hazards and restore your business to its pre-fire condition, you need to bring in a team of professionals with years of experience in fire damage remediation. At ANR, we use commercial-grade equipment and cutting-edge tools to clean up the aftermath of your fire and rebuild your property. That way, you can get back to running your business and providing for your family.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Remove Smoke and Fire Damage
One of the most common causes of large commercial loss stems from smoke and fire damage. Of course, these disasters cause injuries and fatalities. But they also generate tremendous amounts of damage, rot, mold, and harm to structures. Not to mention the devastation that fire damage has to the appearance and livability of the facility. Fire damage restoration companies restore - and also prevent - the root cause of the fire. Electrical outlets, wires, and other fire-prone items will all be addressed to prevent a subsequent disaster.
The best fire damage restoration professionals are highly-trained, exceptionally skilled, and properly equipped to deal with every aspect of a commercial fire. From handling major renovations to taking care of the lingering effects of smoke damage, pro fire restoration companies take care of it for you. Hiring ANR means you'll be working with technicians who have the knowledge, tools, and materials to get the job done right the first time.
When you start the claim process with your businesses' insurance company, they'll ask whether you've hired a fire damage restoration company. That's because companies like Atlas prevent further damage from occurring and calculate an estimate of your total loss. You can submit this estimate to your insurance company, which may then provide you with resources to complete your company's disaster recovery mt-md-1
Fire damage restoration is a crucial, complex process that professionals must perform. With decades of expertise, unmatched restoration quality, and the scalability for any job, Atlas National Renovations is well-equipped to be your single source for commercial fire damage restoration in Cleburne, TX. We are specially equipped to make difficult restoration projects easy for owners.
When a fire disaster strikes, you need a timely response from a trustworthy team of experts. Don't settle for a mediocre fire restoration partner. Choose ANR to get the job done right the first time. Contact our office today to learn more about our fire restoration services in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.214-814-4300
Latest News in Cleburne, TX
Cleburne ISD announces former Fort Worth ISD teacher as lone superintendent finalist
“This news ignited a level of excitement within me that I compare to the joy I felt on my wedding day, as well as the birth of my two children,” Kirkpatrick said.CLEBURNE, Texas — Another North Texas school district will be going into the 2023-24 school year with a new leader running the district.On Wednesday, Cleburne Independent School District's board named Burleson ISD Chief of Schools Coby Kirkpatrick as the lone finalist to be the next ...
“This news ignited a level of excitement within me that I compare to the joy I felt on my wedding day, as well as the birth of my two children,” Kirkpatrick said.
CLEBURNE, Texas — Another North Texas school district will be going into the 2023-24 school year with a new leader running the district.
On Wednesday, Cleburne Independent School District's board named Burleson ISD Chief of Schools Coby Kirkpatrick as the lone finalist to be the next superintendent following a unanimous vote during a school board meeting.
In compliance with state law, a 21-day waiting period will now go into effect before the Trustees conduct a final vote to employ Kirkpatrick as superintendent.
This comes after the Cleburne ISD's Board of Trustees approved an agreement in March between the district and Superintendent Kyle Heath on his resignation.
“This 21-day waiting period will give our stakeholders time to learn more about Dr. Kirkpatrick, while giving him the opportunity to learn more about Cleburne schools and our community,” School Board President Elizabeth Childress said in a press release. “We believe he has the qualities, skills and strengths our staff, parents and community want in our school district leader, based on the input we received from them.”
Kirkpatrick said he counts the school board’s decision to name him a lone finalist for superintendent among his most memorable moments.
“This news ignited a level of excitement within me that I compare to the joy I felt on my wedding day, as well as the birth of my two children,” Kirkpatrick said in the district's press release. “I look forward to joining CISD’s team, where we will work together to bring student success to even greater heights.”
Kirkpatrick joined Burleson ISD’s administrative staff just prior to the start of the 2014-2015 school year as director of Human Resources. One year later, he was named executive director of Human Resources and Student Services.
Kirkpatrick began his career in 1990 as an athletic trainer and teacher in Fort Worth ISD, where he served through 1998.
He spent 16 years with White Settlement ISD, as an athletic trainer and teacher for five years before moving into campus administration as an assistant principal. In his last seven years in the district, he served as an elementary school principal.
“In our interviews with him, his enthusiasm and excitement at the possibility of becoming our next superintendent were very evident—and that made a big difference to us," Childress said. "He has a true passion for kids—meeting them where they are and doing all he can in moving them forward. Dr. Kirkpatrick wants to be the superintendent of Cleburne ISD—and he feels Cleburne would be a great place to call home.”
Kirkpatrick holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University. His Master’s in Education and Doctorate of Educational Leadership degrees are from Tarleton State University.
“This is one of the most important decisions to be made by a school board,” Childress said. “We have devoted a tremendous amount of time, thought, discussion—and prayer—in seeking the right person to be our next superintendent. We are very pleased to announce Dr. Kirkpatrick as our lone finalist.”
‘COME GET ME!’ Raucous steer storms at women during rodeo scramble in North Texas
Several dozen women ran toward the steer, but pretty soon they were scrambling to get away....
Several dozen women ran toward the steer, but pretty soon they were scrambling to get away.
Videos posted on TikTok show what appears to be a few not-so-pleasant encounters with a rambunctious steer during Wednesday night’s Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse rodeo in Cleburne.
All the women in the arena for the steer scramble looked like they were having fun — at first. But within a few seconds, the steer charged toward one woman, carried her in the air for three seconds, and knocked two more down in the process.
The first woman got up quickly but sat on her knees to watch the rest of the carnage unfold as the crowd cheered.
The steer found its next mark on its left, a woman standing by herself with no one else within 20 feet. She, too, took a charge to the abdomen and was taken down to her back. A group of six women then went after the steer, while the rest hid as far as possible from its wrath.
The steer took two women to the ground in one move and charged at another in the middle of the arena, before finally running to an empty corner where it could be corralled — ending its reign of terror.
Videos of the havoc were posted to Facebook and TikTok, garnering thousands of views, likes, comments and laughter from viewers across the world.
“That’s no bull, that’s a damn freight train!” Josh Newcomb commented on Facebook.
Mary Ann Guzman also commented, “I can’t believe the ladies stood there like COME GET ME I was there and it wasn’t a calf, this should no longer be in the entertainment part of the rodeo! Especially if it’s supposed to be a calf and you’re faced with a BULL.”
Others on TikTok took advantage of the apps video editing features, putting “Here Comes The Boom” by Nelly over the video of the steer flooring the women.
“I just snorted!” Lindsey Van Pelt commented.
This story was originally published June 8, 2023, 5:11 PM.
La Moderna granted naming rights to The Depot
Matt Smith firstname.lastname@example.org://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/la-moderna-granted-naming-rights-to-the-depot/article_5324dc92-e5f8-11ed-ac1d-63e1c05fe6a5.html
Cleburne’s baseball and entertainment stadium, The Depot, will soon become La Moderna Field.The Cleburne City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution granting consent to Cleburne Baseball LLC’s request to rename the stadium.Cleburne Baseball LLC oversees oversees operation of The Depot and the Cleburne Railroaders baseball team. The city, however, retains ownership of the property.Cleburne Baseball and the city entered into their most recent lease agreement, which grants Cleburne Baseball use of the stadium,...
Cleburne’s baseball and entertainment stadium, The Depot, will soon become La Moderna Field.
The Cleburne City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution granting consent to Cleburne Baseball LLC’s request to rename the stadium.
Cleburne Baseball LLC oversees oversees operation of The Depot and the Cleburne Railroaders baseball team. The city, however, retains ownership of the property.
Cleburne Baseball and the city entered into their most recent lease agreement, which grants Cleburne Baseball use of the stadium, in 2018.
“As a part of the agreement, Cleburne Baseball has the ability to select one of more commercial sponsors for which the facility will be named,” Cleburne City Manager Steve Polasek said.
That right rests upon several conditions, all of which council members were satisfied that Cleburne Baseball has met.
Cleburne Baseball and La Moderna have reached a tentative agreement on naming rights, Polasek said. “They are seeking council approval of the naming rights purchaser and the logo and signage to be displayed on the stadium,” Polasek said before council voted on the matter. “Their intent in to gain such approvals in a timely fashion that would permit the new signage to be installed prior to the start of the 2023 season, which begins on May 23.”
With council having approved the request, The Depot sign over the stadium’s entrance will soon come down to be replaced by a La Moderna Field sign consisting of an aluminum box with acrylic front. LED lighting will back light the black and yellow sign. Two similar La Moderna signs will also be affixed to the outside of the stadium and additional signage will be placed at various locations within the stadium.
The city’s planning department reviewed the proposed signs and determined that they meet city sign ordinance regulations, Polasek added.
Cleburne Baseball will pay the costs of removing the old and installing the new signs.
The current Depot sign will be stored away for possible future reuse, Polasek said.
A Mexico-based company, La Moderna makes pasta and other food items. The company in 2018 chose Cleburne as the site of their first U.S. Plant.
Cleburne Councilman Derek Weathers described the field’s new name as a win/win.
“It represents local business investing in our local infrastructure and local entertainment,” Weathers said. “I really appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this from both sides.”
Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain agreed.
“La Moderna has been a great community partner to Cleburne and [Railroaders President John Junker] has always done a great job of representing Cleburne, Cleburne Station and The Depot,” Cain said. “To land a top sponsor like La Moderna is a great thing that will bring great opportunities to the ballpark and Cleburne.”
Railroaders ownership change announced
Ownership of the Cleburne Railroaders baseball team has changed. Railroaders Baseball Partners LLC this morning announced their new majority ownership stake in the team effective immediately.The city of Cleburne’s lease with former majority owner Cleburne Baseball LLC allowed that group to use La Moderna Field, owned by the city, as home base for the team, as well as other staged activities throughout the year.“We are thrilled to be part of the Cleburne Railroaders and look forward to the continued growth and succes...
Ownership of the Cleburne Railroaders baseball team has changed. Railroaders Baseball Partners LLC this morning announced their new majority ownership stake in the team effective immediately.
The city of Cleburne’s lease with former majority owner Cleburne Baseball LLC allowed that group to use La Moderna Field, owned by the city, as home base for the team, as well as other staged activities throughout the year.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Cleburne Railroaders and look forward to the continued growth and success of the team,” Railroaders Baseball Partners managing member Tom Vander Veen said. “I am so excited to be part of a team that represents the pride of Cleburne and look forward to expanding our vision in the future.”
Vander Veen thanked the previous ownership group for their leadership, the success of which Railroaders Baseball now strives to build upon. A minority owner of the Cleburne Railroaders since 2021, he also holds partial ownership in the Dallas Jackals, a major league rugby team that plays in Arlington’s Choctaw Stadium.
Officials from the new ownership group said a commitment to the fan experience remains a priority as the group works to create additional activities to further expand the offerings already offered by the Railroaders.
“Baseball has had a rich history in Cleburne for over 100 years,” Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said. “I am excited to see the future of the Cleburne Railroaders under the guidance of Railroaders Baseball Partners and REV Entertainment. The vision of the ownership group runs parallel to the commitment and growth of the city of Cleburne.”
REV Entertainment, the official events partner of the Texas Rangers, will serve as the managing partner for the Railroaders and oversee day-to-day operations of the club, including all marketing, brand, sales and strategy.
“The opportunity to work with the Cleburne Railroaders is a great point of pride for our team,” REV Entertainment Sean Decker said. “REV Entertainment is dedicated to expanding venues and brands, and we are thrilled to manage the Cleburne Railroaders to help enhance the experience for Railroader partners and fans. Our team is devoted to becoming part of the Railroaders’ family and is looking forward to being a fixture in the community.”
The Cleburne Railroaders will maintain the same schedule for the 2023 season and the new ownership will not affect any current ticket holders or partners.
A press conference will be held later this month as part of the pre-game ceremony before a Railroaders’ game. Details will be announced soon.
On Tuesday night, the Cleburne City Council approved a resolution authorizing the change of majority control in ownership of Cleburne Baseball LLC to Railroaders Baseball Partners LLC and an amendment to the lease of the baseball stadium.
Cleburne Baseball LLC was the majority stakeholder in the Railroaders with a 51.5% interest.
“Cleburne Baseball LLC investors have entered into an agreement to sell and assign their 51.5% interest to Railroaders Baseball Partners LLC,” Cleburne City Manager Steve Polasek said. “Railroaders Baseball Partners LLC is a groups of existing minority investors of Cleburne Baseball LLC with some additional baseball and entertainment executives.”
Under the change of control, Railroaders Baseball LLC will obtain 100 percent interest in the team.
“Railroaders Baseball LLC includes members with ownership interest in Top Tier Sports,” Polasek said. “Top Tier Sports is currently a minority owner of the Cleburne Railroaders, as well as several other professional sports teams including minor league hockey and lacrosse.
“The proposed majority ownership group also includes investors with direct ties to the Texas Rangers organization and REV Entertainment, a full-service sports, events and entertainment company.”
The current stadium lease required Cleburne Baseball LLC to notify the city and request written consent before any change of control in ownership could occur.
The lease also required Cleburne Baseball LLC to demonstrate that any potential new owner holds substantial experience in professional baseball team and related stadium operations, demonstrates reasonable financial strength and has entered into a franchise agreement related to the playing of professional baseball games.
So long as such requirements are fulfilled, the city is not entitled to unreasonably withhold or delay consent to a change of ownership control, according to the same lease agreement.
The Cleburne Railroaders compete in the American Association of Professional Baseball. Cleburne has qualified for the playoffs each of the past two seasons, including a run to the division championship series in 2022. So far this season, the Railroaders are the No. 1-ranked offense in the league.
Polasek said that the commissioner of that league has received the Railroaders’ application for change in controlling interest.
“The commissioners office has reviewed the application and undertaken their due diligence determining that the new majority stakeholders meet the ownership requirements of the league,” Polasek said.
The American Association of Professional Baseball’s board of directors approved the ownership change on Wednesday, following the city’s Tuesday night approval.
“The American Association is excited to welcome Tom Vander Veen and REV Entertainment,” American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub said. “They are taking over an already great member in Cleburne and we look for them to accelerate growth in that market.”
The ownership change marks the Railroaders’ third ownership group since the team was revived in 2017.
The Cleburne Railroaders originated in 1906 and went on to win a league championship in their first year. The team secured another championship in 1911 but soon after went dormant until being revived in 2017.
Railroaders maintain high aspirations as 2023 season begins
Coming off an appearance in the American Association South Division Championship Series last season, the Cleburne Railroaders enter the 2023 campaign with continued high expectations.The Railroaders not only enter this season aiming for their third consecutive postseason appearance, but Cleburne Manager Logan Watkins said they are striving to be the best team in the American Association.“The goal every year is to win the whole thing,” Watkins said. “If we’re not aiming to win the whole thing, we’d ...
Coming off an appearance in the American Association South Division Championship Series last season, the Cleburne Railroaders enter the 2023 campaign with continued high expectations.
The Railroaders not only enter this season aiming for their third consecutive postseason appearance, but Cleburne Manager Logan Watkins said they are striving to be the best team in the American Association.
“The goal every year is to win the whole thing,” Watkins said. “If we’re not aiming to win the whole thing, we’d be doing this town and this organization a disservice. If we get off to a great start, that’s awesome. But last year shows it’s more important for you to be sprinting to the finish line.
“Even though we got off to a bad start last year, we finished strong and were one of the best teams in the league down the stretch. We were that one team going in the playoffs that nobody was excited to face. I think that’s the goal this year is to continue to improve where we need to improve. ... The goal for me is to be the best team in the league by the end of the season and then let the playoffs take care of itself.”
Cleburne’s trip to the division championship series as one of the final four teams left standing last year was an even more remarkable feat considering the Railroaders were at the bottom of the league standings a third of the way through the season.
Cleburne started the 2022 season with a 6-24 record but caught fire down the stretch to finish 50-50, then the Railroaders knocked off Kane County in a three-game series in the South Division semifinals before falling to Milwaukee in the South Division Championship Series.
Despite last year’s strong finish, Watkins said momentum doesn’t really carry over from one season to the next in professional baseball because of so many new faces in the clubhouse.
“It’s difficult to say if we can use last year as momentum because with professional baseball there’s a lot of roster turnover year to year,” Watkins said. “While we do have eight or nine guys back from last year’s team, it is a brand-new team. A lot of those guys in the clubhouse now have no idea what happened here last year.
“Every season is a new challenge in its own. That’s why we work so hard in the offseason to build our roster as strong as possible. I’m extremely optimistic with what 2023 is looking like.”
One of those new faces in Cleburne’s clubhouse is Delino DeShields, a recent signing who spent five seasons with the Texas Rangers and has logged 601 games in MLB.
“It’s extremely exciting [to have DeShields in Cleburne],” Watkins said. “I am really excited just to see the impact he has just for the city of Cleburne and the organization and for fans coming to watch him play. He had a good run with the Rangers.
“Just talking to him, I can tell he’s determined to prove he’s got a lot of baseball left in him. I expect him to show up with a point to prove. He wants to prove he should be in affiliated baseball still. It’s a win-win for him and us. I think he’s coming to a great place on a great roster with plenty of scouts checking out guys on this team. I’m anticipating he’s going to help us out a lot.”
While DeShields is a big name many local fans will be intrigued to watch play at The Depot, the Railroaders also bring back several key players from last year, including fan favorite Zach Nehrir along with Hill Alexander and Edwin Arroyo.
“Getting Zach Nehrir back was a huge deal for us,” Watkins said. “He’s probably one of the best players to ever play for this organization. I think his days in pro ball are kind of winding to a close. He’s wanting to start a family and he’s married. So if this is going to be his last year, I think he’s going to make the most of it and he’s excited to do it. But who knows? Maybe he gets picked up and plays affiliated ball for another 10 years.
“Hill and Arroyo are both guys we picked up during the season last year and both made immediate impacts. I think it was obviously important to get Zach back but trying to retain as many key players from last year was important and Hill and Arroyo were high on the priority list to get back and thankfully we did.”
While Cleburne managed to bring back several key players from last year, contributors from last season’s lineup not returning include Kacy Clemens and Chase Simpson, who each batted over .300 last season.
If there was one weakness on Cleburne’s roster a season ago, it was the pitching staff at times. The Railroaders allowed the fifth-most earned runs and had a team ERA of 5.30 with only three shutouts in 100 games.
Cleburne has reworked most of its pitching staff with eight newcomers along with only four returners in Brendan Bell (3-2, 5.71 ERA) , Kody Bullard (7-5, 4.53 ERA), Austin Fairchild (3.64 ERA) and Kevin Hilton (10-3, 5.46 ERA).
“We have two of our starters back from last year and two guys out of the bullpen so four pitchers back,” Watkins said. “All four of those guys were some of our more successful arms last year and we were pretty fortunate to get them back. We’re excited for the new guys we’ve added to the bullpen and starting rotation.”
Watkins said while he likes the potential of Cleburne’s pitching staff, he still views the Railroaders’ lineup as the team’s biggest strength entering the season.
“I think our lineup is probably the best in the league, at least top 3,” Watkins said. “We got Zach and Hill back and Arroyo is playing in a league in Puerto Rico and will join us a couple weeks into the season. Those are three huge pieces from last year back. We added Jose Sermo, who is probably going to be in the hall of fame in this league. He won MVP with Sioux City.
“I think if you go through our lineup, one through nine, they’re all good players. For opposing pitching, there won’t be any breaks. In the past in this league, most teams have really good hitting one through six or one through seven and then it falls off. I really wanted to make sure one through nine that we’d be dangerous. I think we have that but we have to go prove it.”
While the Railroaders, from an organizational standpoint, want to win big every year, the club’s No. 1 goal is to help their players get picked up in affiliated ball for a chance to make it to the majors. And Watkins said it wouldn’t surprise him if several of their players are only in Cleburne for a short time before getting that call.
“Based on what I’ve seen, we have plenty of talent and a lot of these guys have impressive résumés,” Watkins said. “Who knows how long they’ll be here? Hopefully they get picked back up by affiliated ball soon. But we’re going to enjoy the talent we have for now. We’re really excited to get going.”
Cleburne opens the 2023 season at 4:05 p.m. Thursday to start a four-game series at Sioux Falls. The Railroaders will be on the road for the first 10 games of their season. After four in Sioux Falls, Cleburne will visit Milwaukee for six games.
The Railroaders’ home opener at The Depot is scheduled for 7:06 p.m. on May 23 vs. Chicago.
For more information, including to purchase tickets, visit www.ilovetexasbaseball.com.