Spring Training Has Arrived

While the sight of snow from the last storm melting away here in Northeast Pennsylvania was a welcomed one, the fact pitchers and catchers reported to their respective training facilities last week made every baseball fan’s heart warm. The Yankees organization, dispersed by the off-season, has made its way to Tampa, Fla., and a look at the schedule reveals the first Spring Training game against Atlanta coming on Saturday.

Derek Jeter made the biggest splash in Yankees camp by telling reporters he would be in the lineup on Opening Day. Barring any setbacks, the Captain will begin his 17th full season with the Yankees. This is welcome news considering the seriousness of his injury incurred in last year’s playoffs.

The big league club made a move to bolster their bullpen, and it could have a ripple effect on the RailRider pen. New York acquired righty Shawn Kelley from Seattle by trading outfield prospect, Abraham Almonte. Kelley, a native of my home state in Kentucky, piled up 45 strikeouts in 44.1 innings of work in 2012. Kelley’s four-seam fastball/slider combination could help an already stellar Yankee bullpen. Stay tuned on how this affects both the RailRiders, and the big league club.

PNC Field continues to steam towards completion, as the last of the seating bowl is being installed as I type. A successful weekend at the Steamtown Mall in Scranton produced a number of great national anthem candidates. With the blistery conditions and cold temperatures outside, it’s hard to believe we stand just over six weeks away from opening day! For everybody here at the RailRiders, it can’t come soon enough.

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