ERIE SEAWOLVES ANNOUNCE OPENING DAY ROSTER
(Erie, PA) – The Erie SeaWolves, in collaboration with their parent club the American League Champion Detroit Tigers, have released the club’s 2014 Opening Day roster.
2013 Erie Pitcher of the Year Warwick Saupold anchors a starting rotation that also features Tommy Collier (Lakeland/Erie), Jeff Farrell (Lakeland), Wilsen Palacios (Lakeland) and Kyle Ryan (Lakeland/Erie). Saupold made 22 starts for the ‘Wolves last season and was selected (but unable) to participate in the 2013 Eastern League All-Star Game. Collier and Ryan each made an appearance with the SeaWolves at the end of the 2013 season.
The eight-man bullpen boasts two returning lefties in Matt Crouse, who spent time as a starter and reliever in 2013, and Ryan Robowski. Righties Bryan Augenstein (DNP), Nick Avila (Lakeland) and Chad Smith (West Michigan) are pegged for middle relief duties along with lefty Pat McCoy (Harrisburg/Syracuse – WAS). 2013 first round compensation selection Cory Knebel (West Michigan) and Jose Valdez (West Michigan/Lakeland), who saved 33 games in 2013, will man the back end of the pen.
Catching duties will be split between switch-hitting Ramon Cabrera (Erie/Toledo) and Craig Albarnaz (Durham – TB). Cabrera batted .304 in 84 games with the SeaWolves last season.
The infield will boast a pair of highly touted prospects up the middle with Devon Travis (West Michigan/Lakeland) and Eugenio Suarez (Lakeland/Erie). Travis, the number three rated prospect in the Tigers organization, blasted on the scene in 2013 hitting .351 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI. Suarez dazzled SeaWolves fans with his play at shortstop while hitting .288 with six homers and 67 RBI. Francisco Martinez, who was traded back to the Tigers last season, will man the hot corner. Martinez represented Erie at the 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game and 2011 MLB Futures Game before being traded to Seattle. First baseman Aaron Westlake (Lakeland), Corey Jones (Lakeland/Erie/Toledo) and Dean Green (Lakeland) round out the infield.
The consistent Jamie Johnson returns to Erie for his fourth season. Johnson has collected at least 100 hits in four consecutive seasons. Joining Johnson in the outfield will be the Tigers’ number 20 prospect Steven Moya, who knocked 12 home runs in 93 games for Lakeland last season. Also in the outfield is converted Gold Glove third baseman Wade Gaynor (Erie) and Jason Krizan (Lakeland).
The 20th season of SeaWolves baseball begins Thursday, April 3, as the SeaWolves travel to Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates). The SeaWolves’ home opener is Thursday, April 10 against the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees). Tickets are available at the Jerry Uht Park box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., by phone at (814) 456-1300 or online at SeaWolves.com.