As Omaha prepares to defend their Triple-A title, the Storm Chasers announced their preliminary roster for Opening Day (which is Thursday in New Orleans).
They announced 25 players on their roster (which is the limit) and there is a mix of returnees and newbies. However, there is just one who earned a promotion from Double-A to Triple-A (that would be shortstop Orlando Calixte).
The rest are players who helped the Storm Chasers win their second consecutive Triple-A crown, while the others are new to the Royals organization.
Without further adieu, here is the Storm Chasers Opening Day roster:
Pitchers: Christian Binford, Joe Blanton, Aaron Brooks, Yohan Pino, Scott Alexander, Buddy Baumann, Brian Broderick, Casey Coleman, Louis Coleman, Chris Dwyer, Brian Flynn, Michael Mariot, Clayton Mortensen, and Joe Paterson.
Omaha will have a LOT of lefties (five to be exact) and a lot of pitchers (14). Don’t forget Luke Hochevar will be joining the team shortly on a rehab assignment.
Catchers: Francisco Pena and JC Boscan
Infielders: Matt Fields, Ryan Jackson, Gabriel Noriega, Calixte, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Whit Merrifield.
Outfielders: Brett Eibner, Reymond Fuentes, and Moises Sierra. I am sure Merrifield will see time in the outfield as well.
There are some interesting names missing from this roster. The first is lefty John Lamb, who I expected to be in the rotation with Blanton, Brooks, Pino, and Binford. I didn’t see a lot of Lamb during spring training, but I have no idea if he was hurt or not.
Another is outfielder Brian Fletcher. I know he has had his injuries over the last few years, but he started in the outfield for Omaha in both Triple-A games during spring training that I attended. He also played in the Royals big league game against Arizona that I went to last Saturday.
The third is shortstop Dusty Coleman. I admittedly had never heard of him before heading to Surprise, but former Wilmington starter Glenn Sparkman had high praise for Coleman. He said he had the quickest hands on a transfer that he had ever seen.
Finally, first baseman Casey Kotchman is missing from the Omaha roster. I know he signed a minor league deal in spring training, but he did play in every Triple-A game I attended, along with two of the big league games. Kotchman is a great defender and I thought he could help the younger guys in the Triple-A infield.
I guess we will have to wait until later today to see if any of the above pop up on Double-A NW Arkansas’ roster.