Ducks Start Spring Training with Redemption on Mind
The 2017 season is around the corner as spring training is underway at Bethpage Ballpark
With the start of the 2017 Atlantic League season slated for next Thursday, the Long Island Ducks began spring training on Monday. With a roster full of fresh faces and familiar returners, the Ducks have their sights set on a fourth Atlantic League championship this year. Spirits are high and minds are focused after a defeat in the ALPB Championship Series last year left the Ducks just shy of their ultimate goal.
Monday brought the first day of workouts, where the team took the field at Bethpage Ballpark for the first time for batting practice, defensive drills and simulated games. Former big leaguers Nate Freiman and Nolan Reimold dazzled in smacking the ball out of the park, while Fehlandt Lentini sprayed line drives to all fields. Catcher Alex Burg introduced himself to his new teammates by crushing homer after homer over the left field fence.
Starting pitchers John Brownell and Keith Couch looked sharp in their simulated games, and Taiwanese import and former Los Angeles Dodger Chin-Hui Tsao displayed strong command in his bullpen session. Most exchanged pleasantries and introductions, coupled with a sense of optimism for this year that made the day feel as much like an orientation as it did a practice.
More of the same took place Tuesday morning, as Freiman got things going with an impressive power display – going deep twice to dead centerfield in his first round of batting practice. Cody Puckett found his power stroke crushing long balls over all three levels of advertising in left field.
On the mound, Dennis O’Grady induced weak contact in his simulated game, keeping hitters off balance with an assortment of fastballs, curves and off-speed offerings.
Overall, the Ducks spring training roster is comprised of 17 pitchers, three catchers, six infielders and four outfielders. Eight players on the team have MLB experience, and there are nine players returning from last year’s ALPB Championship Series roster.
(Name, Position, Highest Level…* indicates Spring Training Invitee)
David Aardsma, RHP, MLB
John Brownell, RHP, A
Keith Couch, RHP, Triple-A
Patrick Crider, LHP, Ind.
Eury De La Rosa, LHP, MLB
Amalio Diaz, RHP, Triple-A
Jim Fuller, LHP, Triple-A
Matt Larkins, RHP, Ind.
Tyler Levine*, RHP, Ind.
Dennis O’Grady, RHP, Triple-A
Rafael Perez, LHP, MLB
Rob Rogers*, RHP, Triple-A
Jack Snodgrass, LHP, Triple-A
Zac Treece, RHP, Ind.
Chin-Hui Tsao, RHP, MLB
Tyler Wilson, RHP, A
(Name, Highest Level…* indicates Spring Training Invitee)
Dominic Blanco, A
Alex Burg, Triple-A
Nate Irving*, A
(Name, Highest Level)
Giovanny Alfonzo, A
Nate Freiman, MLB
Marc Krauss, MLB
Dan Lyons, A
Cody Puckett, Triple-A
Elmer Reyes, Triple-A
(Name, Highest Level)
Delta Cleary, Jr., Triple-A
Fehlandt Lentini, Triple-A
Nolan Reimold, MLB
Angelo Songco, Double-A
Spring training for the Ducks continues right through Opening Day, and will include four exhibition games. Three of the four contests will be held at Bethpage Ballpark, with the game against Bridgeport free to everyone. The other two are free for season ticket holders, with a $5 donation to the QuackerJack Foundation applying to the general public.
Thursday, April 13 – 10:30 am – Ducks at Bridgeport Bluefish
Saturday, April 15 – 1:00 pm – Bridgeport Bluefish at Ducks
Monday, April 17 – 12:00 pm – Long Island Black Sox at Ducks
Tuesday, April 18 – 12:00 pm – Long Island Black Sox at Ducks
The Ducks begin their season on Thursday, April 20 with a seven-game road trip at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and the Somerset Patriots. They return home for on Friday, April 28 to host the New Britain Bees at 6:35 pm. Gates open at 5:35 pm, and make sure you are part of the first 1,500 fans through the gates to receive your Rich Hill Bobblehead, courtesy of P.C. Richard & Son.
Posted on April 12, 2017, in Ducks News, Feature Articles and tagged 2017, Alex Burg, Chin-Hui Tsao, Ducks, Fehlandt Lentini, John Brownell, Keith Couch, Nate Freiman, nolan reimold, Spring Training. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.