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Opening Day: 3/31

March 31, 2008
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Update 3/31 2:07pm: Akron roster is released:

Pitchers (12):
TJ Burton (RHP)
Bubbie Buzachero (RHP)
Kevin Dixon (RHP)
Ryan Edell (LHP)
Frank Herrmann (RHP)
David Huff (LHP)
Chuck Lofgren (LHP)
JD Martin (RHP)
Randy Newsom (RHP)
Shawn Nottingham (LHP)
Jeff Stevens (RHP)
Sung-Wei Tseng (RHP)

Catchers (2):
Armando Camacaro
Chris Gimenez

Infielders (6):
Michael Aubrey
Brandon Chaves
Chris De La Cruz
Wes Hodges
Josh Rodrigues
Matt Whitney

Outfielders (4):
Jose Constanza
Trevor Crowe
Ryan Goleski
Nathan Panther

Update 3/31 1:03pm: Just got the word that the Kinston roster I posted a few days back is official. Hopefully Buffalo, Akron and Lake County official rosters are released soon.

Today should be a national holiday. There is nothing quite like the first day your major league baseball team takes the field. And for some of us minor league nuts, this Thursday April 3rd is even more exciting as that is minor league baseball's Opening Day. I don't spend really any time here writing about this as the focus is entirely minor leagues, but as a huge Indians fan I expect big things and I really have a feeling this is finally our year. Go Tribe!

Anyway, with all that out of the way, here are some updates today:

- First baseman Jordan Brown will be doing an on-line journal for all season, and this past week he posted his first entry. As most of you know, Brown is one of the Indians most heralded prospects because of his incredible bat-to-ball ability and handle on the strikezone. Not only is he a great guy, but as you can tell from the journal entry he has a pretty good sense of humor. I am not sure how often he will be posting these entries, but I would guess one at least every two weeks. Be sure to check out often to see his work.

- I gave the Kinston roster the other day (there may be a slight change or two). Here is the Lake County roster:

Pitchers (12):
Christopher Archer (RHP)
Garrison Campfield (RHP)
Dallas Cawiezell (RHP)
Kelvin De La Cruz (LHP)
Santo Frias (RHP)
Jonathan Holt (RHP)
Josh Judy (RHP)
Kyle Landis (RHP)
Ryan Miller (LHP)
Ryan Morris (LHP)
Vinnie Pestano (RHP)
Mike Pontius (RHP)

Catchers (2):
Doug Pickens
Michael Valadez

Infielders (7):
Jeff Hehr
Jansey Infante
Chris Nash
Dustin Realini
Karexon Sanchez
Mark Thompson
Matt Willard

Outfielders (4):
Matthew Brown
Lucas Montero
Roman Pena
Adam White

- The Lake County rotation with be De La Cruz, Frias, Miller, Morris, and Archer. Pontius should be the closer. One noticeable ommission is left-handed reliever Garrett Rieck who had a great year in Mahoning Valley last year.

- Here is the Buffalo roster as well (there may be a few last minute changes):

Pitchers (12):
Rick Bauer (RHP)
Bubbie Buzachero (RHP)
Scott Elarton (RHP)
Matt Ginter (RHP)
Jeff Harris (RHP)
Aaron Laffey (LHP)
Tom Mastny (RHP)
Eddie Mujica (RHP)
Reid Santos (LHP)
Brian Slocum (RHP)
Sean Smith (RHP)
Jeremy Sowers (LHP)

Catchers (3):
Yamid Haad/Dave Wallace
Wyatt Toregas

Infielders (6):
Josh Barfield
Jordan Brown
Andy Gonzalez
Aaron Herr
Ryan Mulhern
Danny Sandoval

Outfielders (4):
Jason Cooper
Ben Francisco
Brad Snyder
Jason Tyner/Nathan Panther

- About the Buffalo roster, some last minute changes expected are to decide between Haad or Wallace as the backup catcher, and Tyner and Panther as the fourth outfielder. Certainly a vet team where almost all the players are minor league veterans or prospects who are near the end of prospect status. The makeup of this team should change A LOT through the course of the season.

- Infielder Brandon Pinckney is another player who was left behind in extended spring training. With the rosters at Buffalo and Akron crowded, there was no room for him so he will be assigned to a roster when a spot clears up because of an injury or one of what seems like a thousand vets on the Buffalo roster is released.

- Adam Miller is also in extended spring training because he was sidelined a few weeks with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He needs to make up the two weeks he lost to where he can freely go out and make starts where he can go 80-90 pitches, and he is just not ready to do that. He'll likely join Buffalo in a week or so.

- I was out shopping for baseball gear for my 4-year old son's first T-Ball season at Dick's in Mentor, OH yesterday. It was probably the first time I had been in that store in about ten years or so. Well, to show it is a small world, as I was walking to the checkout counter, I saw four young guys come strolling in and one caught my eye because I recognized him. After I did a double-take, I realized I recognized two of the other three. Turns out, it was Jeff Hehr, Matt Brown, and Adam White (the fourth guy was Pickens or Willard, not sure). I talked to them briefly as to not be rude and just let them go about their business.....but man. That's crazy. I just saw these guys a week ago, they fly in from Winter Haven yesterday, and I freaking see them in Dick's their first day in town. Maybe I am meant to cover these guys.;-)

- The first preview should be up tomorrow, most likely on Lake County.

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