The Tri-City Dust Devils will see 15 Dust Devils veterans and 10 new faces promoted from the Grand Junction Rockies to make up the bulk of the initial 2014 roster. Of the 15 returning Dust Devils, 12 played in Tri-City last season.
Right-handed pitcher Tyler Gagnon is returning to the Dust Devils for his third season on a rehab assignment. He played in Tri-City in 2011 and 2012. Gagnon spent last season with the Modesto Nuts where he had a 12-10 record and a 5.50 ERA in 28 starts. Outfielder Francisco Sosa is back in Tri-City after playing for the Asheville Tourists last season where he had a .315 batting average and 20 home runs in 90 games. Righty Josh Mueller will also be returning on a rehab assignment. He played for Tri-City in 2010 and played for the Tulsa Drillers last season where he had a 3.86 ERA in 23 appearances.
Atop the list of returning Dust Devils are a pair of 2013 Northwest League All-Stars, outfielder Mike Tauchman and starting pitcher Ryan Warner. Tauchman led Tri-City in batting average at .297 and was second in RBIs with 23. Warner led the Dust Devils in innings pitched with 88 1/3 and was second amongst Dust Devils starters in ERA. The other returning pitchers for Tri-City are Huascar Brazoban, Tony Bryant, Marc Magliaro, Jared McCrummen, and Logan Norris. Also returning will be infielder Cesar Galvez and outfielders Marcos Derkes, Jose Monzon, and Wilson Soriano.
Three newcomers to the Dust Devils are the sons of former Major Leaguers. Infielders Miguel Dilone and Rodney Polonia are the sons of Miguel Dilone Sr. and Luis Polonia, respectively. Outfielder Ryan Garvey is the son of 10-time Major League All-Star Steve Garvey. Dilone and Garvey both played in Grand Junction last season. Polonia played for the Pittsburgh Pirates' Dominican Summer League affiliate last season. Tri-City will also have catcher Jairo Rosario, the brother of Colorado Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.
Thus far the Dust Devils have been assigned four players selected by the Rockies in last week's MLB First-Year Player Draft. They are infielders Shane Hoelscher, a 17th round pick from Rice, and Sam Bumpers, a 22nd round pick from Lamar University and pitchers Josh Michalek, a 21st round pick from Baylor University, and Dylan Thompson, a 31st round pick from UNC Greensboro. Additional pitchers on the initial 2014 roster include Evan DeLuca, Scott Firth, Joel Payamps, Helmis Rodriguez, Blake Shouse, Billy Waltrip, and Carlos Yan. Other position players on the roster are catcher Robert Perkins, infielders David Bergin and Renaldo Jenkins, and outfielder Dillon Thomas. More players may be assigned to the roster in the coming days from the First-Year Player Draft, which took place June 5-7.
The first game to be played at Gesa Stadium will be on Wednesday, June 18th at 7:15 p.m. against the Everett AquaSox. All fans in attendance will receive a 2014 Dust Devils schedule magnet courtesy of Pizza Hut, and there will be postgame fireworks presented by CO-Energy immediately following the game. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by contacting the Dust Devils front office at (509) 544-8789, at the Gesa Stadium box office, online at www.dustdevilsbaseball.com, and at all TicketsWest outlets.
Dust Devils Baseball… "It Will Blow You Away!"