April 5, 2010 - International League (IL) - Syracuse Chiefs
Syracuse, NY--The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, have announced their preliminary 24-man roster for the 2010 season. Game time for the season opener is slated for 2:00pm Thursday, April 8 as the Chiefs will host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A Affiliate of the two-time defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies) for the 50th home opener of the Syracuse franchise's community ownership era.
This year's roster has 15 players who spent time in Syracuse last season, including infielders Pete Orr and Seth Bynum, outfielder Justin Maxwell, and pitchers Collin Balester, J.D. Martin and Shairon Martis.
Newcomers from within the Nationals organization include pitcher Atahualpa Severino, catcher Devin Ivany and outfielder Marvin Lowrance.
The Chiefs feature players from 14 different states and five different countries. The youngest player is the 23-year-old Balester and the oldest is catcher Jamie Burke (38).
In addition to Balester, 2009 International League All-Star Martin and Martis, the Chiefs pitching staff is bolstered by lefty Scott Olsen. Acquired in a trade with the Marlins before last season, Olsen battled with former Chief Garrett Mock for the final spot in the Nationals' rotation
The other members of the pitching staff are Luis Atilano, Andrew Kown, Joel Peralta, Doug Slaten, Jack Spradlin, Josh Wilkie and Zech Zinicola.
The infield in Syracuse will be a very experienced one with Bynum, a 2009 International League All-Star, Orr and veterans Chris Duncan and Eric Bruntlett in the mix. All except Bynum have seen time at the major league level and Bruntlett won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.
The other infielders on the roster are Josh Whitesel and Chase Lambin. Whitesell began his career as an Expos draft pick and moved along to the Arizona organization while Lambin spent last season in Japan.
Two catchers will be active to start the season for Syracuse. Carlos Maldonado, who has played in the International League in each of the past four seasons, will be joined by Devin Ivany. The former USF backstop will make his Triple-A debut this season.
Along with Justin Maxwell, the Nationals 8th best prospect according to Baseball America, the Chiefs outfield will be manned by Roger Bernadina, Marvin Lowrance and long-time Major Leaguer Kevin Mench. Bernadina missed the majority of last season because of a broken right ankle he suffered while with the Nationals. Mench, the only right-handed hitter to homer in more than six consecutive games, returns to Syracuse after a stint in '08. Lowrance makes his first appearance in Triple-A
Outfielder Jerry Owens, infielder Luis Ordaz, catcher Jamie Burke and pitcher Mike MacDougal will open the season on the Disabled List.
After losing baseball following the 1955 season and again midway through the 1957 campaign, a group of local businessmen organized a stock drive to purchase the Montreal franchise of the International League and move it to Syracuse for the 1961 season. The Community Baseball Club of Central New York, Inc. has operated the franchise in every season since; keeping baseball in what has become one of the smallest markets in all of Triple-A Baseball.
Tickets for all home games as well as season tickets and coupon books are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Chiefs ticket office at Alliance Bank Stadium, by calling 315-474-7833, or on line at SyracuseChiefs.com.