The first day of spring training leading up to the 2014 season brought bright sunshine, warm temperatures and just about perfect weather for a baseball player. In fact, take a look at this report from News 12 Long Island about the opening of spring training:
Today’s weather was more suitable for an actual Duck. Bethpage Ballpark was soaked with rain throughout the day, forcing the team to conduct their second day of workouts indoors.
Fortunately, the facilities at the Duck Pond are equipped with a batting cage, gym and space for pitchers to throw. When there were breaks in the rain, many of the pitchers were able long toss on the outfield grass and get their conditioning in as well. Rather than letting the rain completely waste the day, the Ducks utilized their time as best as possible.
In addition to indoor workouts, the coaching staff conducted meetings with the team to prepare them for the season. Manager Kevin Baez, pitching coach Steve Foucault, bench coach Bud Harrelson and hitting coach/outfielder Lew Ford all spoke to pitchers first and then position players to get to know one another and discuss goals for the upcoming season.
Foucault, Ford and pitcher John Brownell each took some time after to sit down with us and talk about their excitement to be back on Long Island and their early outlook on the team and season. Here are audio clips of each interview:
We also have some photos for you to check out from today’s indoor workouts:
-The Ducks have seen their first player get signed by a Major League organization, and it took just one day. Outfielder Quincy Latimore was signed by the Washington Nationals on Monday following Long Island’s workout. The North Carolina native will report to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League. He’ll be joined on the roster by former Duck and 2012 Atlantic League champion Mitch Canham. So far, the catcher is 2-for-18 with a homer and two RBI in seven games for Harrisburg. Coincidentally, Canham had signed with the Ducks for 2012 before earning a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals organization on the first day of spring training. We wish Quincy the best of luck with the Nationals.
-Three players have been brought in for spring training invites. The most familiar name is Anthony Armenio, the Dix Hills native who played in four games with the Ducks last season. His most notable at-bat came in Game One of a day/night doubleheader against the Somerset Patriots on May 11. Facing Brad Thompson in the fourth inning, Armenio pulled a three-run triple down the right field line that tied the game at three. The Ducks went on to win the game 6-5. The other two invites were right-handed pitcher Brad Holt and left-handed pitcher Glenn Gibson. Holt has played five seasons of professional baseball, all with the Mets organization, and last played in 2012 at Double-A and Triple-A. Gibson, a Center Moriches native, has six seasons of pro baseball experience and last played in 2011 with Wilmington (A+, Royals).
-Several of the returning Ducks from the 2013 squad looked noticeably different this year. Dan Lyons and Josh Lansford both appear a bit slimmer. Lyons specifically said that he lost 10 pounds during the winter and focused on building up muscle. Brownell, who arrived each of the last two seasons with long hair, has kept his hair short while also growing a mustache. The righty cut his hair short early in 2013 after a couple of tough starts, and it seemed to work for him. Now, he’s going to start the 2014 season with short hair. Finally, Shaun Garceau is now sporting a very bushy beard along with a mustache. He said he wanted to grow it out and plans to keep on doing so this year. We foresee a potential “Fear the Beard” campaign coming. To check out everyone’s new headshot for this year, CLICK HERE to visit the Ducks roster page.
-Speaking of the roster, players received their jersey numbers today. While many of the returners have kept their same number from 2013, a few switches have been made. Since Ford and Joash Brodin both wore 22 at points last year, Ford has switched to the number 20, which he had previously worn in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Being that Jared Lansford had worn 20 the past two years, Lansford switched to number 21. Garceau has moved from number 11 to 28 while Matt Way went from number 5 to 25. The decision for Way’s move was partially based on the amount of injuries he suffered in 2013. Here is a full numerical roster:
2 Cody Puckett – IF
3 Bud Harrelson – Bench Coach
5 Chris McClendon – IF
6 Casey Barnes – RHP
7 John Brownell – RHP
10 Kevin Baez – Manager
11 Jeremy Accardo – RHP
12 Dan Lyons – IF
13 Adam Bailey – IF
14 Steve Garrison – LHP
15 Jon Myers – OF
17 Eric Niesen – LHP
18 Bobby Blevins – RHP
19 Greg DePalma – Bullpen Catcher
20 Lew Ford – OF/Hitting Coach
21 Jared Lansford – RHP
22 Joash Brodin – IF
23 Brian Peacock – C
24 Fehlandt Lentini – OF
25 Matt Way – LHP
26 *Anthony Armenio – C
27 Keith Castillo – C
28 Shaun Garceau – RHP
29 Fernando Hernandez – RHP
30 Sergio Miranda – IF
31 Steve Foucault – Pitching Coach
33 Ryan Strieby – IF
34 Josh Lansford – RHP
41 *Glenn Gibson – LHP
44 *Brad Holt – RHP
47 Leo Rosales – RHP
49 Brett Lorin – RHP
-The Ducks Official Website, www.liducks.com, underwent a little bit of a facelift on the home page. The bottom of each page now features a bar where fans can easily buy tickets online and access information about all types of Ducks tickets. In addition, beneath the news stories that rotate, there is a brand new gamecenter where fans can check out upcoming home games, see the promotions for those games and click links to buy tickets and watch games live. In addition, following each game, the final score will be posted with links to read a game recap and view a box score.
The weather forecast looks much more favorable, albeit cooler, for the rest of the week. Therefore, the Ducks should be back outdoors leading into their home-and-home exhibition series against the Bridgeport Bluefish on Friday and Saturday. Keep it here for all the latest from Bethpage Ballpark as Long Island gets ready for their 15th Anniversary Season of Ducks baseball.
Posted on April 15, 2014, in Ducks News and tagged 2014, Anthony Armenio, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Brad Holt, Bud Harrelson, Championship, Glenn Gibson, John Brownell, Kevin Baez, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Quincy Latimore, Spring Training, Steve Foucault. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.