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 Mud Hens 2011 Opening Day roster announced!

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PostSubject: Mud Hens 2011 Opening Day roster announced!   Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:43 am

Mud Hens Opening Day roster announced!
04/01/2011 10:37 AM ET

The Toledo Mud Hens will start the 2011 campaign on Thursday, April 7 at Louisville Slugger Field at 6:35 pm versus the Louisville Bats. The team plays their first six games on the road (4 vs. Louisville and 2 vs. Indianapolis) before coming home for the Opening Day festivities on Thursday, April 14 at 4:00 pm. The team will have a nice combination of prospects, veterans, and many familiar faces.

Toledo will be celebrating their 10th anniversary of playing downtown at Fifth Third Field and their 25th consecutive season affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. Toledo has a record of 676-613 (.524) since moving downtown.

The team will be lead by first-year Manager Phil Nevin. The 40-year-old led Double-A Erie to a 66-76 record in 2010 and spent the 2009 campaign with the Orange County Flyers in the Golden Baseball League. Nevin played with Toledo briefly in 1995 and 1997 and played 1,217 major league games, including 160 games with Detroit.

Hitting Coach Leon "Bull" Durham (11th season), Pitching Coach A.J. Sager (4th season), Athletic Trainer Matt Rankin (11th season), and Strength Coach Kyle Bergman (1st season) round out the field staff.

ROSTER FUN FACTS:


  • Toledo has players from six different countries (Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, United States, and Venezuela)
  • The average age of the team is 26 years old (youngest are Jose Ortega/John Murrian at 22 years old and the oldest is Timo Perez-35).
  • 15 of the players on the Opening Day roster have played with the Mud Hens prior to this season.

PITCHERS

RHP Alberto Alburquerque was signed by Detroit as a free agent in the off-season after spending last year with Double-A Tulsa (Colorado Rockies). The 24-year-old has pitched for six professional seasons and is from the Dominican Republic.

LHP Duane Below will make his Triple-A debut with Toledo to begin the year. The 25-year-old from Britton, MI was the Detroit Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2007. Last year, Below started 28 games for Double-A Erie. Below was selected by Detroit in the 19th round of the 2006 draft.

LHP Charlie Furbush will return to Toledo after spending the last two months of the 2010 season with the Hens. The 24-year-old started last season with Single-A Lakeland and moved quickly through the system. Furbush was selected by Detroit in the 4th round of the 2007 draft.

LHP Ramon Garcia played briefly (3 games) with Toledo last season and spent most of the year with Double-A Erie. The 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic is entering his 8th professional season (all with Detroit).

LHP Fu-Te Ni returns to Toledo after splitting the 2010 campaign between Detroit and Toledo. The 28-year-old from Taiwan will be entering his 3rd pro season in the United States after a two-year career with the Chinatrust Whales of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

LHP Andy Oliver is rated as one of Detroit's top pitching prospects coming into the 2011 season. The 23-year-old 2nd round pick of Detroit in 2009 pitched with Erie, Toledo, and Detroit last year.

RHP Jose Ortega spent the 2010 season moving up the ranks in the Detroit organization, spending time with Single-A West Michigan, Single-A Lakeland, and Double-A Erie. The 22-year-old from Venezuela will be entering his 5th professional season.

RHP Chris Oxspring has missed the past two seasons due to injury. The 33-year-old from Australia pitched in Korea in 2007 & 2008 and has pitched in 188 professional games during his career.

RHP Thad Weber will return to Toledo after spending the last month of the 2010 season with the Mud Hens. The 26-year-old spent most of last year with Double-A Erie. Weber was selected by Detroit in the 16th round of the 2008 draft.

RHP Robbie Weinhardt will return to Toledo for a second season after spending most of 2010 with the Hens, pitching in 24 games with an ERA of 1.57. The 25-year-old 10th round pick of Detroit in 2008 also appeared in 28 games with Detroit last season.

LHP Adam Wilk will make his Triple-A debut with Toledo to start the year. The 23-year-old spent most of last year with Single-A Lakeland but climbed up to Erie by the end of the year. Wilk was selected by Detroit in the 11th round of the 2009 draft.

RHP Brendan Wise will return to Toledo for a second season after spending much of 2010 with the Hens, pitching in 28 games with an ERA of 2.08. The 26-year-old 8th round pick of Detroit in 2005 also appeared in 15 games with Double-A Erie last season.

CATCHERS (three listed due to Omir Santos injury)

John Murrian spent much of the 2010 year with Single-A Lakeland. The 22-year-old was selected by Detroit in the 9th round of the 2009 draft.

Omir Santos may begin the year on the disabled list as he recovers from a broken toe. The 29-year-old was signed by Detroit as a free agent after spending the 2010 campaign with the Mets organization between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo. Santos will be starting his 11th professional season, including 107 games at the major league level.

Max St. Pierre will start his 15th professional season and his 6th season with Toledo. The 30-year-old from Quebec spent most of last year with Toledo but made his major league debut after nearly 1,000 games in the minor leagues. Max was originally selected by Detroit in the 26th round of the 1997 draft.

INFIELD

SS Argenis Diaz is no stranger to the International League, having played in 123 games with Indianapolis over the past two years. The 24-year-old from Venezuela also appeared in 22 games with Pittsburgh last year.

SS Cale Iorg (25 years old) played in 16 games with Toledo last season and 110 with Double-A Erie. The 6th round pick (Detroit-2007) is in his 5th professional season.

2B Scott Sizemore will return to Toledo for his third season. The 5th round pick (2006) played in 76 games with the Mud Hens last season and 48 games with Detroit. Sizemore is 26 years old.

1B Ryan Strieby will play in Toledo for a second straight season. The 4th round pick (2006) played in 76 games with the Mud Hens last season, hitting .245 with 10 HR and 49 RBI. Strieby is 25 years old.

1B Scott Thorman will be making his Toledo debut after spending the last two years with Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City Royals). The 29-year-old former 1st round pick of Atlanta (2000 draft) played with the Braves in 2006 & 2007.

IF Danny Worth (25 years old) played in 45 games with Toledo last season and 39 games for Detroit. The 2nd round pick (Detroit-2007) is in his 5th professional season.

OUTFIELD

Andy Dirks played in 22 games with Toledo in 2010 and 98 games with Double-A Erie. The 25-year-old is in his 4th professional season. Dirks was selected by Detroit in the 8th round of the 2008 draft.

Timo Perez makes his return to Toledo after a three-year absence. The 35-year-old played 234 games with the Mud Hens in 2007 & 2008. Perez has played in 529 minor league games and has a lifetime .315 batting average.

Clete Thomas played in 21 games with Toledo in 2010 and missed much of the year due to injury. The 27-year-old is in his 7th professional season. Thomas was selected by Detroit in the 6th round of the 2005 draft.

Clay Timpner will be playing for Toledo for the first time in 2011. The 27-year-old played last year with Double-A Richmond in the San Francisco organization. Timpner will be entering his 8th professional season.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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