KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The Saltdogs have finalized the Opening Night roster ahead of Tuesday’s game at Kansas City.
The ‘Dogs will return five players from 2019 and feature 19 new players in 2021.
Headlining the returning class is INF/DH Curt Smith, who is back for his franchise-record eighth season in Lincoln. Smith is among the all-time leaders in many offensive categories and will likely pass Bryan Warner this year with the most games played in franchise history. Smith is joined by OF Forrestt Allday, RHP Jake Hohensee, LHP Kyle Kinman and LHP Tyler Anderson as ‘Dogs who played two years ago.
New to Lincoln under first-year manager Brett Jodie include former MLB pitcher Johnny Barbato, nine-year veteran James Pugliese – who made 45 appearances for Jodie’s Somerset Patriots in 2019, and INF David Vidal – who had one of the best seasons in Atlantic League history under Jodie with Somerset in 2016.
The Saltdogs also feature 14 players who were at one point drafted by Major League clubs, and all 24 rostered players have at least one year of professional experience under their belt. The ‘Dogs also have Gunnar Buhner on the roster – son of 16-year MLB veteran Jay Buhner, who hit over 300 career homers with the Yankees and Mariners in Major League Baseball.
The ‘Dogs did not play due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and will be playing their first game in 620 days when they take the field Tuesday night in Kansas City. First pitch time is set for 7:00 p.m., and the pregame begins with play-by-play voice Michael Dixon and studio host Jeff Briden at 6:30. All games – home and away – can also be seen on www.aabaseball.tv.
The Saltdogs will open the 2021 season on May 18, and the first game at Haymarket Park is scheduled for May 25! All ticket and promotional information can be seen at saltdogs.com.