Skip to main content
jump to navigation
The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
Below is an advertisement.
Eleven Champions Return for 2012 Fisher Cats
03/31/2012 6:46 PM ET
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, in conjunction with their parent club, the Toronto Blue Jays, unveiled the projected opening day roster for the 2012 season.  A total of 11 players return from the 2011 Eastern League championship team, highlighted by four of the five starting pitchers used in the team's run to the title.  The roster announced today includes 18 players with previous Fisher Cats experience as New Hampshire aims to defend its Eastern League title under returning manager Sal Fasano.

"What a special way for us to begin a championship celebration with so many players who were integral in our success last year," said Fisher Cats President Rick Brenner.  "Our fans will be excited to see so many familiar faces while also getting to greet the new players during our Meet-and-Greet on Tuesday night at the Executive Health and Sports Center."

This year's starting rotation is well-stocked with some of the highest rated prospects in the Blue Jays minor league system.  Drew Hutchison headlines the talented group after spending the bulk of spring training in Blue Jays' major league camp.  The right-hander skyrocketed through the Blue Jays system a year ago, dominating hitters in Lansing (Class A) and Dunedin (High Class A) prior to a stint in New Hampshire.  He made his Fisher Cats debut on August 24 and was named Eastern League Player of the Week in the final week of the regular season.  In the playoffs, Hutchison shut down the Reading Phillies with six shutout innings in Game 3 of the Eastern League Division Series.  He enters the season ranked No. 7 in the Blue Jays system by MLB.com.

Hutchison will be followed in the rotation by a stable of talented pitchers.  Deck McGuire, a first-rounder in 2010, returns after making a handful of starts for the Fisher Cats late last season.  He also made a pair of appearances in the playoffs, including a start in the clinching Game 4 victory over Richmond in the championship series.  Chad Jenkins, a 2009 first round pick, started 18 total games for the Fisher Cats in 2011, highlighted by a pair of strong outings in the postseason.  Right-hander Joel Carreno returns with major league experience after earning a promotion from the Fisher Cats to the Blue Jays last season.  He was impressive with the Jays, earning his first big league victory.  Right-hander Ryan Tepera, 24, rounds out the staff after winning 11 games with Dunedin a year ago.


The 2012 bullpen will be graced by a steady mix of veterans and newcomers.  Yohan Pino, owner of two dazzling playoff starts last season, is back for his first full year with the Fisher Cats.  He'll be joined by fellow champions Ronald Uviedo, who began and ended last season with the Fisher Cats, and Evan Crawford, the winning pitcher in the clinching game against Reading.


Fisher Cats closer Danny Farquhar, a member of Toronto's bullpen at the end of 2011, is back in New Hampshire for the start of the season.  The same can be said of Boomer Potts, a 2010 Fisher Cat who missed last year with injury, and Matt Daly, who won four games for New Hampshire last year.  Righty Fernando Hernandez and lefty Aaron Loup will voyage to New Hampshire for the first time in their respective careers.

Five positional players from last year's championship celebration are back for another shot at an Eastern League title.  The infield features Mike McDade, an All-Star a season ago, who returns to man first base again in 2012.  The slugger had 16 home runs, finished second on the team with 74 RBI, and won the Eastern League Home Run Derby at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in his Fisher Cats debut.  Championship Series MVP Kevin Howard returns after carrying the load offensively with six hits and six RBI against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.  Shortstop Jon Diaz and third baseman Mark Sobolewski are also back on the New Hampshire infield after earning championship rings a season ago.  They'll be joined by newcomers Ryan Goins and Brian Van Kirk, members of Dunedin's playoff-bound team in 2011.  Koby Clemens comes to New Hampshire in his first year in the Blue Jays organization.  The 25-year-old is the son of former big league pitcher and 300-game-winner Roger Clemens.


In the outfield, John Tolisano is back for the title defense.  He's joined by Justin Jackson, a Fisher Cat on two separate occasions during last year's regular season.  Two new outfielders make their Double-A debuts this season.  Slugger Brad Glenn earns a promotion from Dunedin after leading the Florida State League with 26 home runs.  Speedy Brad McElroy arrives after putting together career highs in several offensive categories in his third season in Dunedin. 

After watching the Eastern League MVP, Travis d'Arnaud, a year ago, Fisher Cats fans will once again be treated to a pair of outstanding catchers in 2012.  Former Eastern League All-Star Brian Jeroloman is back after earning a trip to the major leagues for the final month last season.  A.J. Jimenez is the No. 14 prospect in the Jays system according to MLB.com.  He earned the the R. Howard Webster Award as Dunedin's Team MVP a year ago.  He was also rated the league's best defensive catcher as voted on by Florida State League managers in a poll by Baseball America.

Manager Sal Fasano will lead the club starting with a season-opening road trip on Thursday, April 5.  Fasano is joined on the staff by 2009-10 Fisher Cats pitching coach Tom Signore and hitting coach Jon Nunnally, who joins the Blue Jays after serving as the hitting coach of the Cleveland Indians.  Bob Tarpey returns for his third season as the athletic trainer while Brian Pike is back for his third consecutive season as strength and conditioning coach. 

The Fisher Cats arrive in Manchester on Sunday afternoon.  After workouts on Monday and Tuesday, fans can meet the new team at the Meet-and-Greet from 5-8 PM at the Executive Health and Sports Center on Tuesday night.  After the road trip, the Fisher Cats return home for Opening Day at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Thursday, April 12, against the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins).  Opening Day features Atlas Fireworks, a celebration of the 2011 championship, and a Magnet Schedule giveaway courtesy of Elliot Urgent Care at River's Edge.  
Single game tickets for all 2012 games are available in-person at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium box office, by phone at 603-641-2005, and at www.nhfishercats.com.  Fans can secure the best seats, enjoy free gifts and exclusive benefits, and win an iPod Touch or an iPad 2 by purchasing 2012 Mini-Ticket Plans or Full- and Half-Season Tickets.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
MiLB.com Comments
Today on MiLB.com

Poll