Indians Announce Preliminary Opening Day Roster
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Indians, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, today announced their Opening Day roster for the 2019 season. Second-year manager Brian Esposito looks to build off a 73-67 record from 2018, a year in which Indy missed out on the International League West Division crown and IL wild card races by just a half-game.
The Indians boast nine of Pittsburgh's top-30 prospects, according to both Baseball America and MLB.com. Two of those top prospects, right-handers JT Brubaker (No. 27 BA/No. 21 MLB.com) and Mitch Keller (No. 1 BA/No. 1 MLB.com), will lead the rotation. Brubaker is scheduled as the Tribe's Opening Day starter in Columbus. Joining Brubaker and Keller in the rotation are two righties - Alex McRae and Rookie Davis.
Indy's bullpen will feature right-hander Clay Holmes (No. 17 BA/No. 23 MLB.com), who figures to be a multi-inning weapon for Esposito. Fellow righties Montana DuRapau, Michael Feliz, Geoff Hartlieb, Jesus Liranzo and Brandon Maurer, along with southpaws Sean Keselica, Tyler Lyons and Brandon Waddell, round out the relief corps.
Calling the shots behind the plate are catchers Steven Baron and Christian Kelley, both newcomers to Indianapolis. Baron owns 10 years of experience in the minors and has made brief major league appearances with Seattle (2015) and St. Louis (2018).
Every infield starter for Indianapolis comes with a high prospect ranking next to his name. Up the middle, the Indians will have shortstop Cole Tucker (No. 6 BA/No. 5 MLB.com) and second baseman Kevin Kramer (No. 5 BA/No. 6 MLB.com). Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 2 BA/No. 2 MLB.com) will man the hot corner while Will Craig (No. 16 BA/No. 15 MLB.com) gets the nod at first base. Journeyman Jake Elmore and utilityman Erich Weiss are expected to share time around the infield, as well.
The Tribe outfield is led by Bryan Reynolds (No. 9 BA/No. 8 MLB.com) and Jason Martin (No. 10 BA/No. 11 MLB.com), the latter returning to Indianapolis after a midseason promotion from Double-A last season. Patrick Kivlehan is tabbed as Indy's primary right fielder, and Trayvon Robinson - returning to affiliated baseball for the first time since 2015 - will back up all three spots.
Overall, eight of Indy's 25 active players are currently members of Pittsburgh's 40-man roster. Eleven (six pitchers, five position players) have appeared in the big leagues, and 16 are age 25 or younger.
RHP JT Brubaker
RHP Rookie Davis
RHP Montana DuRapau
RHP Michael Feliz
RHP Geoff Hartlieb
RHP Clay Holmes
RHP Mitch Keller
RHP Jesus Liranzo
RHP Brandon Maurer
RHP Alex McRae
LHP Sean Keselica
LHP Tyler Lyons
LHP Brandon Waddell
POSITION PLAYERS (12)
C Steven Baron
C Christian Kelley
1B Will Craig
UTIL Jake Elmore
3B Ke'Bryan Hayes
2B Kevin Kramer
SS Cole Tucker
UTIL Erich Weiss
OF Patrick Kivlehan
OF Jason Martin
OF Bryan Reynolds
OF Trayvon Robinson
Single game tickets and details on group outings are available on IndyIndians.com or by calling the Victory Field Box Office at (317) 269-2282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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