The official opening day of Minor League baseball for the Richmond Flying Squirrels is Thursday, April 5th in Trenton, N.J. and today the club in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants have announced the initial 25-man roster for the 2018 season.
12 of those players will be returning to the Diamond from previous seasons and five are ranked among the Giants’ top-30 prospects by Baseball America.
“We are tremendously excited about the mix of young and veteran talent coming to The Diamond this season,” said Flying Squirrels General Manager Ben Rothrock in the team’s press release. “There’s lots of excitement building up to opening day both on and off the field and we are excited to see the stands packed on Friday, April 13th.”
Making the trek back to the Boulevard and the bullpen in right field will be RHP Ray Black, RHP Tyler Cyr, LHP Matt Gage, RHP Ryan Halstead, RHP Jordan Johnson, RHP Dan Slania who was the opening day starter for Richmond in 2017, and RHP Cory Taylor.
The returning position players are Daniel Carbonell, Ali Castillo, Dylan Davis, Aramis Garcia and Jerry Sands. Carbonell, Davis and Sands were a big part of Richmond’s offense last year, combining for 10 home runs and 78 RBI’s.
New prospects that will get their first taste of Eastern League baseball ranked in order by the Giants from highest to lowest are as follows: LHP Garrett Williams (#7), RHP Shaun Anderson (#11), and SS Ryan Howard (#16).
Willie Harris will be manager in his first season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Glenn Dishman is pitching coach, Francisco Morales is hitting coach and former Squirrels’ player Eliezer Zambrano will be a first-time coach in the bullpen.
The club will hold an open practice to media and the public Monday, April 2nd at the Diamond starting at 5:00 p.m.
The Squirrels first home game of the season is Friday, April 13th against the Reading Fightin’ Phils at 7:05 p.m.