WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento River Cats are excited to announce the 2016 Opening Day roster. The River Cats open their 17th season in Sacramento with five players who spent time with the San Francisco Giants last year. The Opening Day roster also includes seven of MLB.com's Top 30 Prospect Watch players in the Giants organization in Mac Williamson (7), Clayton Blackburn (12), Steven Okert (17), Jarrett Parker (19), Ty Blach (24), Derek Law (27), and Chris Stratton (28).
The pitching staff will look to continue its success from last season after coming off a team record single-season ERA of 3.85. The rotation is headlined by Blackburn, who claimed the ERA title for the Pacific Coast League (2.85) in 2015, and Blach, whose 11 wins were tied for third best in the league.
Behind the plate for the River Cats is local product Andrew Susac, a former Jesuit High School star, along with veteran talents in George Kottaras and Miguel Olivo, who have a combined 20 years of Major League experience between them. Manning the infield are five new faces with Juan Ciriaco the only returner from the 2015 season.
The outfield will see a number of familiar faces in Parker, Williamson, and Darren Ford. The already talented outfield will be deeper than ever with the addition of Gorkys Hernandez, a fleet-footed centerfielder who swiped 24 bases last season across three different levels.
Leading the way in 2016 will be new manager Jose Alguacil, who joins the River Cats after one season as the skipper in Double-A Richmond. Alguacil - or Augi, for short - led the Flying Squirrels to a 72-68 in what was his managerial debut. Joining him on the staff is new Hitting Coach Damon Minor, who re-joins the Giants organization from the New Orleans Zephyrs, where he served as the hitting coach for five seasons. Pitching Coach Dwight Bernard returns for his second season in Sacramento, as does Athletic Trainer LJ Petra. Rounding out the staff is Strength and Conditioning Coach Adam Vish, who, like Alguacil, comes to Sacramento from Richmond.
Full 2016 Sacramento River Cats Roster*
*The River Cats will be making three moves to cut the active roster to 25
The River Cats will open their season at home on Friday, April 15 against the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). Game time is 7:05 p.m. PST. Tickets are still available. For more information, please call 916.371.HITS or visit rivercats.com.
The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2016 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.