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Top Prospects Gose, d'Arnaud & Stewart Headline Players Assigned to Fisher Cats
04/03/2011 2:48 PM ET

Manchester, NH-  Highly-touted prospects Anthony Gose, Travis d'Arnaud and Zach Stewart join returning stars Adeiny Hechavarria, Alan Farina, B.J. LaMura and Jonathan Diaz as players assigned to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.  The projected roster announced today includes 16 players with previous Fisher Cats' playing experience, and three players with Major League experience who come to New Hampshire for the first time.

 

"We are thrilled to see many fan favorites returning to start the season, and we can't wait to meet all the future Blue Jays who will take the field for new manager Sal Fasano," said Fisher Cats President Rick Brenner.  "Our staff has been working hard to get the stadium ready for Thursday's home opener with Trenton and we are also excited for Tuesday's season ticket holder meet-and-greet with the team at the Samuel Adams Bar and Grill."

 

Three of the top six prospects in the Blue Jays organization, according to Baseball America, are scheduled to start with the Fisher Cats, including outfielder Anthony Gose.   The 20-year old was selected in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Phillies, and Toronto tried to obtain him as part of the package that landed Roy Halladay with Philadelphia.   The Blue Jays finally got him last summer, as Philadelphia included Gose in a package to get Roy Oswalt from the Astros, who immediately flipped him to the Jays for Brett Wallace.  Gose led all of Minor League Baseball with 76 steals in 2009.  After joining the Blue Jays organization, he played in 27 games for Advanced-A Dunedin, delivering 24 hits in 27 games and had a .360 on-base percentage.  He is listed as the 4th best prospect in the organization heading into 2011.

 

Catcher Travis d'Arnaud, the 37th overall pick in 2007 by the Phillies, was acquired by Toronto in the Halladay deal.  Listed as the 5th best prospect, the 22-year old played in 71 games for Advanced-A Dunedin last season, hitting .259 with six homers and 38 RBI.  The Lakewood HS (CA) graduate did have some back problems last season, which limited his playing time.  d'Arnaud is rated as the best defensive catcher in the organization, which says a lot.  Popular Brian Jeroloman, a three-time Eastern League All-Star with the Fisher Cats in the 2008-2010 season, previously had been regarded as the organization's best.

 

The starting rotation will include returnees Zach Stewart, B.J. LaMura, and Rey Gonzalez.    The 24-year old Stewart enters the campaign ranked as the Blue Jays' number six prospect by Baseball America.  The right-hander was acquired in the trade that sent Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays to the Cincinnati Reds at the July 2009 trade deadline.  Stewart spent the entire 2010 season with the Fisher Cats, compiling an 8-3 record with a 3.63 ERA in 26 starts.  He lost only once after June 19, and was New Hampshire's starter in game two of the Eastern Division playoffs against Trenton in which he threw seven shutout innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters.  LaMura, 30, was with the Fisher Cats for most of last season.  He was named the Eastern League's Pitcher of the Week on August 2 after back-to-back wins over Harrisburg and Trenton.  Gonzalez  looks to regain his 2009 form when he was one of the top starters in the Eastern League.  He went 4-6 with a stellar 2.90 ERA and was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster at the end of the season.  The Cuban born right-hander won eight games combined for the Fisher Cats and Triple-A Las Vegas last season.

Other starters include Joel Carreno, 24, who went 9-6 with a 3.73 ERA and an organization-best 173 strikeouts in 137.2 innings for the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays (FSL) last season and southpaw Willie Collazo, 31, who has Major League experience with the New York Mets.  He joined the Blue Jays organization at the end of last season.  The veteran has also pitched in the Atlanta, L.A. Angels and Florida systems.  

 

Five members of the bullpen have pitched with the Fisher Cats previously and one other has Major League experience.  24-year old right-hander Alan Farina had a tremendous 2010 coming off an injury.  He started the season with Dunedin, going 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 32 games.  He struck out 46 batters in 36.1 innings and was rewarded with a promotion to the Fisher Cats on June 26.  In the Eastern League, Farina appeared in 17 games, allowing only six hits in 19.1 innings pitched and a .092 average against.  He saved four games down the stretch as the Fisher Cats clinched a playoff berth.  Ronald Uviedo, acquired in a trade from the Pirates organization last summer, returns to New Hampshire where he went 5-3, appearing in 25 games (5 starts) last season.  Clint Everts, a 26-year old right-hander who was originally drafted in the 1st round by the Montreal Expos, appeared in 15 games for the Fisher Cats last year.  Canadian-born RHP Vince Perkins returns to the Blue Jays organization and the Fisher Cats, where he pitched in 2005.  After stints in the Brewers and Cubs organizations, Perkins pitched in independent ball last year.  RHP Bobby Korecky is another veteran arm in the bullpen.  Like Perkins, Korecky spent 2010 out of organized baseball, but at one time was one of the top closers in the Twins organization.  Korecky saved 31 games for New Britain in 2004 and worked his way through the system, reaching Minnesota for the first time in April 2008.  He also appeared in five games with the Diamondbacks in 2009.  Two Blue Jays 2008 draftees, RHP Matt Daly and LHP Evan Crawford, round out the pen for new Pitching Coach Pete Walker.  Daly was the top closer for Advanced-A Dunedin last season, saving 31 games and compiling a 2.50 ERA in 56 relief outings.  Crawford will be the lone southpaw in the bullpen, appearing in 39 games for Class-A Lansing and Advanced-A Dunedin last season.  LHP Boomer Potts, who was with New Hampshire last season, starts the season on the disabled list.

 

In addition to d'Arnaud, catcher Yan Gomes joins New Hampshire for the first time. The 23-year old was a teammate of Blue Jays catcher and Fisher Cats alum J.P. Arencibia at the University of Tennessee.  He becomes the first member of the Blue Jays 2009 draft class to make it to New Hampshire.  Gomes spent most of last season with Dunedin, batting .275 with 9 HR and 40 RBI.

 

Six of the nine infielders on the roster have played for the Fisher Cats, led by Hechavarria, 22, who is penciled in as the starting shortstop.  The Blue Jays signed Adeiny to a large contract last April, and his first pro season ended in Manchester.  He played in 61 games for New Hampshire, hitting .273, and impressed Fisher Cats fans with his defensive work.  Adeiny is the 13th rated prospect by Baseball America.  Veteran Jonathan Diaz starts his sixth pro season with New Hampshire.  A solid defender, Diaz has split the past two seasons between the Fisher Cats and Triple-A Las Vegas.   Three members of the Dunedin playoff squad of 2010 head to Double-A for the first time including 1B Mike McDade, 2B John Tolisano and 3B Mark Sobolewski.   McDade, 22, was named the R. Howard Webster Award winner for Dunedin, hitting a league-leading 21 home runs and driving in 64 runs.  The Blue Jays have also assigned 29-year old Craig Stansberry to New Hampshire.  Stansberry, who has appeared in 24 games in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres (2007-2009), spent last year at Triple-A Portland in the Padres system.  He played in the Eastern League with Altoona in 2005.  There are also three infielders with Fisher Cats experience on the disabled list:  Callix Crabbe, Scott Campbell and Luis Sanchez.

 

Three returnees join Gose in the outfield. Adam Calderone, 27, has appeared in 166 games with the Fisher Cats over the past two season, hitting 21 home runs and driving in 91 runs.  He earned an Eastern League Batter of the Week award last season shortly before being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he spent a good portion of the season.  Ricardo Nanita was signed by the Blue Jays last August, and finished the season playing in six games with the Fisher Cats.  He starts his ninth season of pro ball with New Hampshire.  22-year old Moises Sierra is rated as the 23rd best Toronto prospect by Baseball America.  He finished 2009 with the Fisher Cats, hitting one home run (a grand slam at Portland on September 6) and driving in six in 34 AB.  Due to injuries, he was limited to 20 games last season, mostly with Dunedin

 

Former Major League catcher Sal Fasano will manage the Fisher Cats in his second-year since returning to the Blue Jays organization.  A year ago, Fasano was the Manager at Class-A Lansing, where his club finished 70-69.  Fasano played for nine different teams in the Major Leagues during his career, including Toronto (2007).  Pete Walker joins the Fisher Cats as Pitching Coach.  A Major League veteran of eight seasons, three with the Blue Jays, Walker has been working with the organization's rehabbing pitchers.  Justin Mashore is the first-year hitting coach in New Hampshire after spending last season as the hitting coach at Advanced-A Dunedin.  This will be his ninth year in the organization.  Coach Danny Solano is quite familiar with the Fisher Cats-he was the primary third baseman on the 2004 Eastern League Championship squad.  He's been serving as a hitting coach since retiring after the 2006 season. Bob Tarpey begins his second season as the Fisher Cats Athletic Trainer following three seasons in the same role with the Blue Jays' Class-A affiliate, the Lansing Lugnuts. Brian Pike is back as the team's strength and conditioning coach.

 

The 2011 Fisher Cats arrive from Spring Training on Monday, April 4.  The team has scheduled its first practice at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.  Following the practice, Season Ticket Holders will gather with the team at the annual Meet & Greet in the Samuel Adams Bar & Grill from 6:00pm-7:30pm.

Opening Day for the 2011 Fisher Cats All-Star season at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium is on Thursday, April 7 against the Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, at 6:35pm.  The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Fisher Cats Fleece Blanket, courtesy of Northeast Delta Dental.  The series continues with game two on Friday with the first Atlas Fireworks show of the season following the 6:35pm game.  At 1:35pm on Saturday is the first ever All-You-Can-Eat Day, present by Rock 101 and The Morning Buzz.  The first 2,500 fans to enter the ballpark will receive a free Fisher Cats Magnetic Schedule, courtesy of Elliot Urgent Care at River's Edge, and all fans can play USA Subs Baseball Bingo throughout the game.  Sunday's 1:35pm game against the Thunder features a Fisher Cats Kids Jersey Giveaway to the first 1,000 kids through the gates, courtesy of POWERADE ION4.  After the game, kids will also be welcomed onto the field for Kids Run the Bases, presented by the NH State Liquor Commission.

The homestand continues when the future Phillies, the Reading Phillies, visit Manchester for a three-game series beginning with a 6:35pm game on Monday, April 11.  Fans will have another opportunity at some great prizes while playing USA Subs Baseball Bingo. Tuesday's 6:35pm game is a Dollar Hot Dog Night and features the KRAFT Singles Tuesday Night Tickets promotion. Fans who bring a Kraft singles wrapper to the Fisher Cats Box Office will get a special buy one ticket, get one free offer, courtesy of KRAFT Singles. Wrapping up the homestand is Wednesday's 6:35pm Northeast Delta Dental Oral Health Challenge Night.  Fans will also be treated to a Chili Cook-Off and USA Subs Baseball Bingo.

Fisher Cats individual game tickets, season tickets and mini-ticket plans are available now at the Fisher Cats Ticket Office at 1 Line Drive, Manchester, NH 03101, online at www.nhfishercats.com or by calling the Fisher Cats at (603) 641-2005.

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