Today is "Opening Day" for Major League Baseball and former Missoula Osprey players and coaches are scattered around the league as the first pitches of 2019 fly. In total, 18 former Missoula Osprey players will participate in MLB's 2019 Opening Day representing 14 different clubs throughout the league. In addition, former Osprey Andy Green will begin his fourth season as the Manager of the San Diego Padres as he and seven other former Osprey coaches are on Major League coaching staffs to begin the year.
Pitcher Brad Keller (2013-2014) has been given the nod and will be taking the bump as the Opening Day starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Another former Osprey, Elvis Luciano, will suit up for Toronto - when his number is called from the Blue Jays bullpen and he toes the rubber, Luciano will become the 70th Missoula alum to make their MLB debut, and the first ever MLB player born in the 21st century.
Naturally, the list of former Osprey currently playing in the Majors is led by the St. Louis Cardinals star first-baseman and potential future Hall of Famer, Paul Goldschmidt. After the Cardinals blockbuster acquisition of Goldschmidt in December, the red birds have locked up their franchise cornerstone with the largest deal in team history - penning a 5 year, $130 million extension to 31-year-olds current contract. Goldschmidt is a six-time All-Star, the owner of four Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Gloves and has finished top-three in NL MVP voting on three occasions.
Green enters his fourth season as the Padres Manager with the eyes of the baseball world giving their full attention after the highly touted acquisition of third-baseman Manny Machado and the debut of baseball's No. 2 overall prospect, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Andy Green and Chip Hale are the only former Osprey Managers to manage a big-league club. Hale is currently the Bench Coach for the Washington Nationals.
Key Opening Day notes for the Osprey:
- Brad Keller (Osprey 2013-2014) has been named the Opening Day starter for the Royals and will be pitching today against former 2013 Osprey teammate Daniel Palka and the White Sox.
- When Elvis Luciano (Osprey 2017) gets the call from the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen, he will make MLB History as the first player to take the field born in the 21st century.
- The 2009 Osprey team has 5 current Major League players and produced 11 Major League players total, the most of any former Osprey team. That 2009 Osprey team make the Pioneer League Championship Series where they fell to Orem in 3 games.
- 18 Osprey alumni on Opening Day rosters surpasses the previous franchise record of 17 in 2016.
Former Osprey on 2019 Major League Opening Day rosters are:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Andrew Chafin (2011), Archie Bradley (2011), Jake Lamb (2012)
Atlanta Braves: Ender Inciarte (2009)
Chicago White Sox: Daniel Palka (2013)
Colorado Rockies: DJ Johnson (2011), Bryan Shaw (2008)
Kansas City Royals: Brad Keller (2013-2014), Chris Owings (2009)
Milwaukee Brewers: Chase Anderson (2009)
Minnesota Twins: Gabriel Moya (2014-2015)
New York Mets: Keon Broxton (2009)
San Diego Padres: Socrates Brito (2012)
San Francisco Giants: Gerardo Parra (2006)
St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt (2009)
Tampa Bay Rays: Michael Perez (2012)
Toronto Blue Jays: Elvis Luciano (2017)
Washington Nationals: Adam Eaton (2010)
Major League Managers:
Andy Green, San Diego Padres (Osprey player 2000, Manager 2012)
Major League Coaches:
Chip Hale, Washington Nationals Bench Coach (Osprey Manager 2000-01)
Mel Stottlemyre Jr., Miami Marlins Pitching Coach (Osprey PC 2005-06)
Tony Perezchica, Arizona Diamondbacks 3rd Base Coach (Osprey Manager 2004)
Robby Hammock, Arizona Diamondbacks Quality Control/Catching Coach (Osprey Manager 2013)
Luis Urueta, Arizona Diamondbacks Coach (Osprey player 2002)
Doug Bochtler, San Diego Padres Bullpen Coach (Osprey PC 2013)
JR House, Cincinnati Reds 3rd Base Coach/Catching Coach (Osprey HC 2012)
We are just 85 days away from the return of baseball to Missoula - Season Tickets and Flex packages are available now and can be purchased at the MSO Hub, by phone at (406) 543-3300 or online at MissoulaOsprey.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.