[PRESS RELEASE} Thunder Announce Opening Day Roster
(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced the team’s opening day roster Thursday before the season-opening game at Portland. The roster is made up of 13 pitchers, 12 position players and two on the disabled list who are currently with the team. It includes seven of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America, three members of the Yankees 40-man roster and 13 players who were with the team in last season’s Eastern League Championship Series.
New from the original list of players released on Monday are infielder Casey Stevenson and catcher Tyson Blaser. Stevenson played the entire 2012 season with Class-A Charleston and batted .300 in 66 games with five home runs and 37 RBI. Blaser split his 2012 campaign between Charleston and High-A Tampa and hit .331 in 52 total games played.
The team’s strenth may be in its outfielded, which includes Slade Heathcott (#2 on the Yankees’ Baseball America (BA) prospect list), Tyler Austin (#4 BA) and 40-man roster member Ramon Flores (#12). Catcher J.R. Murphy (#15 BA) is back for his second season behind the plate for Trenton.
The pitching staff includes three left-handed starters: Nik Turley (#14 BA) and Francisco Rondon, each members of the Yankees 40-man roster, and Matt Tracy (#26 BA). Kelvin Perez, an Eastern League All-Star with the Thunder last year, and Tommy Kahnle (#28 BA) are expected to be key members of the Trenton bullpen. Kahnle and Branden Pinder are expected to share duties as the team’s closer.
The Thunder begin the season Thursday night with the first of a four-game series at Portland. Turley gets the opening-night start for Trenton and will be opposed by Sea Dogs southpaw Drake Britton. Radio broadcast coverage begins at 5:45 pm and can be heard on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and online at www.trentonthunder.com
The home opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 11 at 7:05 pm against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Limited tickets are available by contacting the box office at (609) 394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com