If you're a baseball fan it's by far the best day of the year. Spring is here, everybody is 0-0, summer's around the corner, and school is almost over (I remember those days). As I have made a tradition over the past few years, I picked up some hot dogs and other snacks to enjoy during this afternoon's action and headed back to my dorm to write this preview when I came across some surprising news.
While we're all enjoying the Opening Day festivities, there's one baseball guy not happy today and his name is Dave Bush - the IronPigs ace and scheduled starter for tonight's game against Empire State. Major League Baseball announced this morning (because there's nothing else in baseball to focus on today) that the 32-year old righty is suspended for five games for his role in a Spring Training brawl on March 28. The suspension takes effect immediately and Bush will not be able to go tonight.
|Cloyd (Threshers Nation)|
To make room on the roster outfielder Scott Podsednik was placed on the Temporary Inactive List due to "personal reasons." I don't want to look too much into that, but you could tell Scott was pretty upset he didn't make the Phillies Opening Day roster. He had the choice of coming down to the Pigs or retiring.
For the fourth time in IronPigs history their Opening Day opponent is the newly re-branded Empire State Yankees. In case you had better things to do than follow Triple-A baseball all winter, PNC Field in Scranton is undergoing major renovations that have forced the Yankees' Triple-A squad to play their home games in Rochester, Batavia, Syracuse, Buffalo, Pawtucket, and our own Coca-Cola Park during this season.
The Yanks finished third in the IL North division last year at 73-69, 6 games behind the Pigs. All-Star catcher Jesus Montero was traded to Seattle during the offseason, but their 2012 roster is still very talented. Lefty Manny Banuelos and righty Dellin Betances are the Yankees #1 and #2 prospects according to MLB.com. Outfielder Chris Dickerson, infielders Russell Branyan and Brandon Laird, catcher Francisco Cervelli, and pitcher Manny Delcarmen (tonight's starter) are all familiar names we've seen around the IL. The Yanks also have Jack Cust on their roster. Much to the dismay of Pigs Nation, Cust appeared in six games with us last season before being released by the Phillies.
Delcarmen, the former Sox prospect, spent 2011 between Tacoma (AAA-SEA) and Round Rock (AAA-TEX) where he went a combined 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA.
That's all for now. Enjoy the game tonight if you're going. There still might be a few tickets left if you're looking to go.