Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Look at the Fresno Grizzlies Opening Day Roster

The vast majority of the 2015 AAA National Championship Fresno Grizzlies team returns to action largely intact as they start their season on Thursday in Las Vegas, playing the Mets AAA affiliate. Their home opener will be on Friday, April 15th.

Tyler Heineman - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Chris Devenski, the MVP of that 2015 Championship game, returns, along with rotation stalwarts Mike Hauschild, Brady Rodgers and Asher Wojciechowski. Lefty Tommy Shirley, who was having a tremendous season prior to a season-ending injury last year, is slated to return as well. Shirley has moved back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen very capably so he offers flexibility. Brad Peacock will take the place of the recently traded Dan Straily.

Several bullpen members will be returning as well. James Hoyt, the 2015 closer for most of the season, will likely be used in a set-up role with flame-thrower Jandel Gustave handling the closing duties. Hoyt is also likely to be the first bullpen pitcher called into service in Houston as he was the last cut coming out of camp, losing out to Michael Feliz. Edwar Cabrera and Cesar Valdez will be new to the mix. Chris Cotton is currently missing from the roster and I don't know his status.

Tyler Heineman will be back to handle the pitching staff with top defensive catcher Roberto Pena at his side. It will be Pena's first season with AAA.

Nolan Fontana, Tony Kemp and Jon Singleton will once again anchor the infield and will be joined by Colin Moran at third (Moran appeared with AAA briefly at the end of 2015) and A.J. Reed at first. It will be interesting to see how the playing time breaks down between Reed and Singleton at first base. I would guess that Reed will get the bulk of the first base duties while Singleton will get more time at DH. The bats of Tyler White and Matt Duffy will be missed, but Reed and Moran are certainly capable of big production as well. Journeyman infielder Danny Worth is new to the system.

The biggest changes to the team are in the outfield with Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes and Alex Presley no longer with the team. Andrew Aplin is the only regular returning. He is joined by Jon Kemmer, Leo Heras (who got a taste of AAA last season) and Eury Perez in his first season in the system. Kemmer brings a big bat to the line-up in his first season with AAA.

The opening day roster will likely bear little resemblance to the one at the end of the season as many of these players will either be promoted, traded or released by season's end to make room for the next wave.


LHP Edwar Cabrera
LHP Kevin Chapman
RHP Chris Devenski
RHP Jandel Gustave
RHP Mike Hauschild
RHP James Hoyt
RHP Jordan Jankowski
RHP Juan Minaya
RHP Brad Peacock
RHP Brady Rodgers
LHP Tommy Shirley
RHP Cesar Valdez
RHP Asher Wojciechowski

#C Tyler Heineman
C Roberto Pena

*IF Nolan Fontana
*IF/OF Tony Kemp
*3B Colin Moran
*1B A.J. Reed
*1B Jon Singleton
IF Danny Worth

*OF Andrew Aplin
*OF Leo Heras
*OF Jon Kemmer
OF Eury Perez


The 2016 Houston Farm System Handbook is now on sale at the low, low price of $6.99. At that price, you can't afford not to have it!

1 comment:

  1. Cotton was part of team rehab at spring training this year. The orange rehab shirts were pretty, but I am sure that all the players are tired of them and want to be in a jersey on active rosters this season. Other players on Team Rehab included Barrios, Cotton, Emanuel, German, S. Martinez, T. Perez, M. Polanco, C. Powell, Sandoval, Sanudo, and Velasquez. Hope the info helps. Go Astros!