Filing from the remote office in Chicopee, MA… it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: Opening Day!
Three of the four full-season affiliates start up today, with Syracuse hosting Rochester this afternoon, Harrisburg visiting Bowie, and Hagerstown hosting West Virginia.
|Team||Today’s Game||Pitching Matchup (’11 Stats at Level)|
|Mitch Atkins (3-7, 5.44) vs.
P.J. Walters (8-7, 5.17)
|Robert Gilliam (12-7, 5.04 in Cal. Lg.) vs. TBD|
|Hagerstown||vs. West Virginia,
|Wirkin Estevez (6-3, 4.01 in NYPL) vs.
Nicholas Kingham (6-2, 2.15 in in NYPL)
A reminder from last year: The order in which the starters begin is not an indication of #1, #2, etc. but how the organization wants to align starters in the minors when it comes time for promotions. This is even more important to keep in mind with the notable names in XST. I think a look at the first starters illustrates this point.
Mitch Atkins is the listed starter for Syracuse per MiLB.com, as many of may have heard that John Lannan was supposed to start but has been shifted from today to Sunday. Robert Gilliam, a.k.a. the Other Guy We Got From Oakland, is scheduled for Harrisburg. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez is slated for Hagerstown. Kyle Winters appears to be getting the assignment for Potomac tomorrow night.
None of these guys would be considered the ace of the staff in the traditional sense. But this isn’t “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain,” either. We all like results, but the goal is getting the work in and making progress. Some guys are going to be on pitch counts, for example, so keep that in mind before asking why did so-and-so only go five innings.
News & Notes starts back up tomorrow, and perhaps this afternoon we’ll find out the last of the spring releases.