The Erie SeaWolves, in collaboration with their parent club the Detroit Tigers, have released the club's 2017 Opening Day roster.
The starting rotation features three left-handers and a pair of righties, all with experience at the Double-A level or higher. Lefties Tyler Alexander (Tigers #4 prospect) and Matt Crouse both spent time with Erie while free agent signee Anthony Vasquez joins the organization after spending 2016 with Reading and Lehigh Valley. Righties Myles Jaye (Tigers #16 prospect) and Artie Lewicki (Tigers #24 prospect) return to Erie after spending part of 2016 with the club.
The eight-man bullpen boasts a wealth of experience with every reliever having pitched at the Double-A level or higher. Familiar faces include righties Ruben Alaniz, Jeff Ferrell and Paul Voelker (Tigers #25 prospect). Left-hander Josh Turley, who is second all-time in SeaWolves history with 23 wins, makes the move from the rotation to the bullpen. Other relievers include RHP A.J. Achter, a free agent signee who spent time with the Angels in 2016, RHP Victor Alcantara (Tigers #26 prospect), who was acquired in a trade for Cameron Maybin, RHP Sean Donatello, a Rule 5 draft selection, and LHP Mike Zagurski, a free agent signee who spent the last two seasons playing in Korea and Japan.
Catching duties will be handled by Grayson Greiner and Miguel Gonzalez. Greiner spent time with Lakeland, Erie and Toledo in 2016. Gonzalez, who played with the SeaWolves in 2015, spent all of last season in Toledo.
The outfield consists of Mike Gerber (Tigers #7 prospect and 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner), Jason Krizan (2016 Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star), Jeff McVaney and Christin Stewart (Tigers #2 prospect and 2016 Tigers Minor League Player of the Year). All four outfielders spent time with the SeaWolves in 2016.
The infield features three returning players including 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Dominic Ficociello, Kody Eaves and Gustavo Nunez. A.J. Simcox (Tigers #27 prospect) earns the promotion from Lakeland to Erie. A pair of free agents, Gabriel Quintana and Logan Watkins, rounds out the infield. Quintana belted 20 home runs last season while playing third base with Double-A San Antonio. Watkins, who has 58 games of big league experience with the Chicago Cubs, played with Triple-A Iowa in 2016.
The SeaWolves' 2017 home opener, presented by Plyler Overhead Door Co., is Thursday, April 6 against the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) at 6:35 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the fourth annual Opening Day Bash on the UPMC Park plaza featuring live entertainment, games and drink specials. 2017 single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the UPMC Park box office (M-F, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.), online at SeaWolves.com or via phone at (814) 456-1300.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.