Dust Devils Announce RosterPosted: Updated:
PASCO, Wash. -- The Tri-City Dust Devils have announced their opening roster for 2011, which includes 13 promoted players from the Colorado Rockies' Rookie League affiliate Casper Ghosts. Of those 13, eight are pitchers, including Tyler Gagnon who went 5-3 with a 3.89 earned run average in 15 starts for the Ghosts last season. Former Ghosts first baseman Blake McDade and catcher Ryan Casteel will also make the trip to Pasco and batted .327 and .305 respectively last season.
The Dust Devils will also welcome back eight players from last season. Outfielders Leonardo Reyes and Jared Simon return, both of whom featured in over 60 games for Tri-City last season. Reyes batted .268 and hit three home runs while driving in 29 runs, the second most on the team. Simon, who will be in his second professional season, batted .226 with an on-base percentage of .304. He also hit one home run and drove home 19 runs while anchoring left-field for the Dust Devils, where he made just two errors.
Tri-City fans will see a few other familiar faces on the mound, such as lefty Craig Bennigson and righty Clint Tilford. Despite having just 15 appearances with 14.1 innings pitched last season, Bennigson led the Dust Devils with seven saves and posted an impressive 2.51 earned run average. Tilford, who will be in Tri-City for the third consecutive season, was fourth on the Dust Devils in appearances last season with 23. In those games Tilford went 3-3 with a 5.45 earned run average in 39.2 innings on the mound. He also struck out 45 batters while walking just 11.
A number of rookies will also join Tri-City after the conclusion of the MLB First-Year Player Draft which took place June 6-8.
Opening Day of the 2011 season at Gesa Stadium is June 17th versus the Everett AquaSox.