BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW Release) –The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, today announced their 2013 Opening Day Roster. Led by manager Marty Brown, the Herd will open the 2013 season on Opening Day, Thursday, April 4 at Coca-Cola Field against the Rochester Red Wings (2:05 p.m.).
The 25-man squad will feature 23 players who have already played at the Major League level. Those players have a combined 3,299 games of experience in the big leagues.
The Bisons five-man rotation has pitched 817 of those big league games. RHP RAMON ORTIZ won 16 games with the Los Angeles Angels in 2003 and was on LA’s World Series Championship squad in 2002. RHP CLAUDIO VARGAS collected double-digit win totals in back-to-back seasons in 2006 with Arizona and 2007 with Milwaukee. RHP DAVID BUSH was a teammate of Vargas on the ’07 Brewers, one of his four seasons with eight or more Major League wins. RHP JUSTIN GERMANO was a Triple-A All-Star with Pawtucket last season, but didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game in Buffalo because of a promotion to Boston. RHP TODD REDMOND, who has finished in the International League’s Top 5 in strikeouts in each of the past three seasons, made his big league debut with Cincinnati last season.
The infield playing behind the Bisons starters is sure to get plenty of cheers from Buffalo fans. Buffalo’s own INF JIM NEGRYCH joins his hometown team after an All-Star campaign with Syracuse in 2012. The two-time All-Western New York player had an impressive spring camp with Toronto where he hit .412 (14-34) with two home runs and seven RBI.
Joining Negrych on the infield is INF LUIS JIMENEZ, the slugging first baseman who was an All-Star with Tacoma last year and hit 11 home runs in the Triple-A Home Run Derby at Coca-Cola Field. INF ANDY LaROCHE won a Governors’ Cup Trophy with Pawtucket in 2012 and clubbed 46 extra-base hits with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009. Two-time World Baseball Classic Champion and eight-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star, INF MUNEMORI KAWASKI made his American debut with 61 games for Seattle last year and INF EUGENIO VELEZ hit .280 with 50 extra-base hits for Triple-A Memphis last season. Top Blue Jays’ prospect INF RYAN GOINS rounds out the infield after leading the Eastern League with 158 hits with New Hampshire in 2012. INF LARS ANDERSON has 33 home runs over the last three years with Pawtucket.
The Bisons outfield will feature two of the brightest prospects in the Blue Jays organization. OF ANTHONY GOSE played in the SiriusXM All-Stars Futures Game last year and has stolen 228 bases in just 566 career games. A WBC Champion with the Dominican Republic last month, OF MOISES SIERRA hit a combined .271 with 23 homers and 78 RBI between Triple-A Las Vegas and his first career stint with the Blue Jays last year.
Joining them in the outfielder is veteran OF RYAN LANGERHANS, who has spent parts of each of the last eight seasons in the Major Leagues. OF MIKE McCOY has hit .290 over the last three seasons with Las Vegas while also playing in 158 games with Toronto.
The team’s 2013 catchers will be very familiar to Buffalo fans. JOSH THOLE played 48 games with the Herd in 2010 before spending the bulk of the last three years in New York with the Mets. He caught Johan Santana’s no-hitter last season. MIKE NICKEAS will join the Bisons for the fifth straight season, a feat for a catcher only matched by Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer, Tom Prince.
The Bisons bullpen was completed on Friday as the Blue Jays claimed RHP ALEX BURNETT off waivers from the Twins. Burnett has pitched 133 games over the past two years with the Twins. LHP JUAN PEREZ posted a 3.60 ERA with Triple-A Nashville last season and RHP BRAD LINCOLN held opponents to a .176 average in his 47 relief appearances between the Pirates and Blue Jays in 2012. LHP ALEX HINSHAW has big league experience with the Giants, Padres and Cubs.
IL veteran RHP BUDDY CARLYLE posted a 3.43 ERA for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2012 and RHP MICKEY STOREY went 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA for Triple-A Oklahoma City last year before earning his first big league promotion with Houston. Rounding out the bullpen is RHP NEIL WAGNER, who has saved 45 games in his seven-year professional career.