Cougars Announce 2018 Opening Night Roster

Former Major Leaguer, Blake Lalli, will lead team in his first year as a manager

By Kane County Cougars | April 2, 2018 4:53 PM

GENEVA, Ill. - The Kane County Cougars, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, have announced the organization's Opening Night roster for the 2018 season. The incoming group of 25 players arrived from the D-backs spring training complex earlier this week and will take the field tonight at 6:30 PM against the Clinton LumberKings at Northwestern Medicine Field.

Arriving from the D-backs spring training complex earlier this week, the incoming group of 25 players currently include:

PITCHERS: Jeff Bain, Mack Lemieux, Kevin McCanna, Jayson McKinley, Brian Shaffer, Cole Stapler, Abraham Almonte, Anfernee Benitez, Matt Brill, Erbert Gonzalez, Matt Peacock, Breckin Williams, Jake Winston

CATCHERS: Jose Herrera, Tim Susnara

INFIELDERS: Luis Basabe, Jasrado Chisholm, Manny Jefferson, Eudy Ramos, Joey Rose, Yan Sanchez, Yoel Yanqui

OUTFIELDERS: Ernie De La Trinidad, Luis Silverio, Stephen Smith

Short Hops

  • 12 players spent time with the Cougars during the 2017 season
  • Right-hander Brian Shaffer was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 2017 following his junior season at Maryland.
  • Jasrado Chisholm, Brian Shaffer and Eudy Ramos enter the season ranked as some of the D-backs Top 30 Prospects by MLB.com. Chisholm is currently ranked No. 3, Shaffer at No. 24 and Ramos at No. 28.
  • Matt Brill and Kevin McCanna are familiar to Illinois. Brill, a native of Coal Valley, IL attended Moline High School while Kevin McCanna was born in Joliet, Ill.

Cougars manager, Blake Lalli, begins his first season as a manager after spending the last five seasons playing in the Majors with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. The former Major Leaguer will be joined in the dugout by pitching coach Rich Sauveur, hitting coach Rick Short, coach Carlos Mesa, athletic trainer Kelly Boyce and strength and conditioning coach Tim Queck.

Gates for the Cougars 2018 Opening Night festivities will open at 5:30 p.m. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive an Opening Night cap, courtesy of Northwestern Medicine. Fans can participate in a pre-game autograph session with the opportunity to run the bases following the game (weather permitting). Thirsty Thursday specials, presented by Miller Lite, will also be available with $1 beers, sodas and hot dogs.

Follow the Cougars on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the up to date promotional information.

About the Kane County Cougars

The Cougars, Class-A Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been at the forefront of family-friendly entertainment since 1991. In 2015, the franchise became the first Class-A team in Minor League Baseball history to welcome 11 million fans through the gates. A total of 161 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues including Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Schwarber.

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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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