April 1, 2011
RENO, Nev. – Several returning stars—including Brandon Allen, John Hester and Kevin Mulvey—and a number of exciting newcomers—including Wily Mo Peña, Micah Owings and Cody Ransom-highlight the 2011 Reno Aces Opening Day roster, the club announced today.
Three-fifths of the Aces starting rotation is part of the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster, including Mulvey, Zach Kroenke and Josh Collmenter. Starter Matt Torra won 11 games for the Aces last season and set a D-backs Triple-A record with 178.0 innings pitched. Owings has spent part of the last four seasons in the Major Leagues with Arizona and Cincinnati, and won the National League Silver Slugger Award in 2007.
The Reno bullpen features many familiar faces, including Esmerling Vasquez, Daniel Stange, Jordan Norberto and Rafael Rodriguez-all of whom appeared in the big leagues for Arizona last season. Right-handers Josh Ellis, Jason Urquidez and southpaw Tom Layne round-out the Aces relief corps.
Hester, who was named a 2009 Topps Triple-A All-Star and University of Nevada product Konrad Schmidt will handle catching duties for Reno. Both caught at the Major League level for the D-backs last season.
All six members of the Aces infield have Major League experience, including Allen, who owns the club's single-season and all-time home run records. Ransom, Tony Abreu, Josh Wilson, Sean Burroughs and Andy Tracy make-up the remainder of the Aces infield. Burroughs was the ninth-overall pick in the 1998 draft, and Tracy enters the 2011 season ranked among the top-five active Minor Leaguers in runs (3rd), hits (5th), doubles (4th), home runs (3rd), RBIs (2nd) and total bases (3rd).
Cole Gillespie returns to man the Aces outfield in 2011 after making his big league debut in 2010. He'll be flanked by Colliin Cowgill, who is rated by Baseball America as Arizona's 18th-best prospect, David Winfree and Pena. The 6-3, 280-pound Pena has hit 77-career Major League home runs over all or part of seven seasons with Cincinnati, Boston and Washington.
Four players-pitcher Clay Zavada, catcher Robby Hammock, infielder Ed Rogers and outfielder Chris Rahl-begin the 2011 campaign on the Disabled List.
The entire Aces coaching staff, anchored by manager Brett Butler, returns for the 2011 season. The Aces coaching staff combined to play in 3,678-career Major League games, the highest total in the Pacific Coast League.
The Aces officially report to Reno on Monday, April 4. The club will play an exhibition game against the University of Nevada on Tuesday, April 5. Tickets are available now at the Aces Ballpark Box Office or online at www.RenoAces.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Nevada Dugout Club.
Reno starts the 2011 season with eight-straight games on the road, beginning Thursday, April 7 against the Salt Lake Bees. The home opener at Aces Ballpark is set for Friday, April 15. Single-game tickets are on-sale at the Aces Ballpark Box Office, online at www.RenoAces.com or by phone at (775) 334-7000. Discount full and partial season ticket plans are available today. Visit www.RenoAces.com or call (775) 334-4700 for more information.