American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier talks about the happenings that we will see around the American Association as we are just four weeks from the season getting underway.
Opening Day 28 Days Away
Finally! American Association baseball is almost ready to hit the field, as there are four weeks until the first game of the season is scheduled. It seems like a long time since the Winnipeg Goldeyes were hoisting the championship trophy and, with the Major League season already underway, independent baseball fans are chomping at the bit to get started.
So, here are some important dates and things to know as we get ready for the upcoming season.
May 6 – Spring Training begins for the 12 teams on this day. While players will report a few days before this for physicals and media days, this will be the official start of Spring Training. Teams are allowed to bring in 28 players, but they will only get to keep either 22 or 23. They can keep 23, if they have five players classified as rookies.
Tryouts – Every team holds tryouts that anyone can come to. Even if you have never been to one of these, you should go. They are a lot of fun and, sometimes, a gem is found. Most teams post the tryout date on their website. If not, try contacting them. If you are a person who still has a dream of playing professional ball, you should give it a try. Check it right away. Some teams are offering their tryout within the next 10 days.
Media Days – All 12 teams will have a media day as well. This is where local media can come out and interview and meet the 28 players who will be in Spring Training. Most teams don’t mind fans coming out to get to know their future stars. Check with the team for time and date if you would like to attend.
Exhibitions – Every team will play exhibition games to get ready for the season. The Winnipeg Goldeyes, for example, usually begin the season on the road, because Canada is just not ready for outdoor sports in mid-May. They will usually play a couple of games somewhere in Kansas or Nebraska before the season begins. The Wichita Wingnuts take on Friends University in a couple of games. It’s a great chance to get out to the park a little early.
Final Rosters – The final rosters are set a couple of days before the season begins.
May 17 – The Sioux City Explorers will travel to Nebraska to take on the Lincoln Saltdogs to begin the season. That is the only game scheduled that night, with the other 10 teams getting underway on Friday, May 18.
It’s getting close.
American Association Daily Notes
The Texas AirHogs signed RHP Taylor Wright. Wright pitched in 5 games for Low-A Hillsboro (Arizona Diamondbacks) in 2016, where he was 0-3 with a 6.86 ERA. He was out of professional baseball last year…The Cleburne Railroaders acquired RHP Patrick Young from the Kansas City T-Bones for two players to be named later. Young was in the San Francisco Giants organization last season, pitching at AA-Richmond and Rookie ball. He was a 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA in 13 appearances…The T-Bones signed outfielder Adam Walker. Walker had quite a season in 2017, playing with three different AAA teams and two AA teams. Combined, the outfielder hit .190 in 79 games with 15 homers and 46 RBI…The Winnipeg Goldeyes brought back veteran Josh Mazzola. Mazzola was with Fargo-Moorhead last season, where he hit .239 in 100 games. The veteran starred for the Goldeyes from 2012-2015, hitting double digits in home runs in each of those seasons, including 20 in 2015.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA