The Erie SeaWolves, in collaboration with their parent club the American League Champion Detroit Tigers, have released the club's 2013 Opening Day roster.
Former Tampa Bay Rays second round selection Kyle Lobstein will anchor a starting rotation that features four new faces. Lobstein is expected to be Erie's Opening Day starter, and he'll be joined in the starting rotation by Derek Hankins (AAA-Texas in 2012), Victor Larez (Lakeland), Patrick Cooper (Lakeland/Erie) and Warwick Saupold (West Michigan/Lakeland).
The Erie bullpen features five returning pitchers from the 2012 club including righties Tyler Clark, David Kopp, Michael Morrison, Robbie Weinhardt and Tyler Stohr. A trio of newcomers includes lefties Matt Crouse (Lakeland) and Will Startup (Sugarland - IND) along with right-hander Justin Souza (A/AAA - Oakland)
Catching duties will be split between 2011 second round draft pick James McCann (Lakeland/Erie) and Ramon Cabrera (AA/AAA - Pittsburgh), who was acquired in a trade with the Pirates for Andy Oliver.
The infield will boast a pair of highly touted prospects up the middle with Hernan Perez at second base and Dixon Machado at shortstop. Both boasted the best fielding percentages at their respective positions in 2012. Wade Gaynor (Lakeland/Erie) will man the hot corner while James Robbins (Lakeland) will cover first. Utility infielders are Marcus Lemon (Lakeland) and Corey Jones (Lakeland/Erie).
Tyler Collins (Lakeland) and Daniel Fields (Lakeland/Erie), the number six and seven prospects in the Tigers system respectively, will be joined in the outfield by Luis Castillo (West Michigan/Lakeland) and Jamie Johnson (Erie/Toledo) to round out the 25-man roster.
Opening Day is next Thursday, April 4 at 6:35 p.m. against the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates). Gates will open at 4 p.m. with fans having the opportunity to watching batting practice. Tickets are available at the Jerry Uht Park box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., by phone at (814) 456-1300 or online at SeaWolves.com.