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Jackson Generals Announce Opening Day Roster

By ABC 7 Eyewitness News Staff

In conjunction with the Seattle Mariners, the Jackson Generals have announced their 2011 Opening Day roster. The Generals will carry the Southern League maximum of 24 active players at the outset of the season, six of whom are rated among Baseball America's top-30 prospects in the Mariners’ organization.

The Jackson Generals will be led by a strong offense in 2011. Outfielder Johermyn Chavez, the #7 prospect in the Mariners system, hit .315 with 32 homeruns and 96 RBI last season for Class A High Desert. Infielder Kyle Seager, the #9 rated Mariners prospect, played in 135 games last season for High Desert. Seager led the minor leagues in hits (192) and runs scored (126). Seager won the California League batting title with a .345 average. First baseman Rich Poythress, the 15th ranked M’s prospect, played 26 games in Jackson in 2009. Last season, he was named the Mariners Minor League Player of the Year after leading all minor leaguers with 130 RBI. Poythress hit .315 and blasted 31 homeruns for High Desert in 2010.

Rounding out the M’s top prospects on the Generals roster are (#16 prospect) Carlos Triunfel, who returns to Jackson after playing in 129 games for the Diamond Jaxx last season, mostly at short stop. Triunfel was a Southern League All-Star in 2010. Pitcher Josh Fields (#24 prospect) returns for his third season in Jackson out of the bullpen. Fields, the M’s 1st round pick in 2008, has appeared in 52 games over two seasons in Jackson while battling arm injuries. The youngest of the 2011 Generals will be 20-year-old starting pitcher, Erasmo Ramirez (#28 prospect). Ramirez was the Class Low-A Clinton Lumber Kings Pitcher of the Year. He led Clinton with 14 quality starts and was 4th among Mariner farmhands with a 2.97 ERA.

13 members of the 2010 Diamond Jaxx will return to the Hub City in 2011, as a General. These include Triunfel, Fields, 2010 Southern League All-Stars’ Johan Limonta and pitcher Steven Hensley. Other returnees on the mound are pitchers Anthony Vasquez, Brian Moran and Jarrett Grube. Returning position players include; catchers Brandon Bantz and Jose Yepez, outfielders Brandon Haveman and Jake Shaffer; infielders Nate Tenbrink and Scott Savastano.

Joining Chavez, Seager and Ramirez as newcomers in 2011 are pitchers Scott Patterson, Stephen Penny, Kenn Kasparek, Bobby Lafromboise, Andrew Carraway and RHP Moises Hernandez. New to the outfield is James McOwen.

Patterson is the only Generals player with major league experience, dealing for both the Yankees and Padres in his career. He is the oldest member of the squad at age 31.

Eight players who will open the season on the Jackson Generals disabled list. These include; pitchers Nick Hill, Stephen Kahn and Donnie Hume; infielders Luis Jimenez, Edilio Colina and Eddy Martinez Esteve; outfielders Kuo Hui Lo and Joe Dunigan. These players will remain in Peoria, AZ for rehab.

Jim Pankovits will manage the Jackson Generals in 2011. Pankovits spent the past 16 seasons working in the Houston Astros Player Development Department. He spent the last two seasons as the manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats, who in 2010 won the New York-Penn League Championship. Pankovits has a 708-821 career managerial record. Lance Painter returns for his second season as Jackson’s pitching coach, and Cory Snyder will take over as Hitting Coach in his first season. Snyder, like Pankovits is in his first season as a coach in the Mariners Minor League system after spending the past four-seasons managing in the independent Golden League, most recently with the Na Koa Ikaika in Maui, Hawaii. He played in the Major Leagues from 1986 to 1994, with Cleveland, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Matt Toth will return for a third season as Athletic Trainer, and Rob Fumagalli will serve his first season as Performance Specialist.

The Generals will open the 2011 season on Thursday night at 7:05 against the Mississippi Braves in Pearl, MS. The Generals home opener will be on April 13th against the Jacksonville Suns at 7:05.

The Jackson Generals are the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners and a member of the Southern League. Season tickets, flex plans, and group packages with the Generals are on sale now. For more information and to reserve your seats at Pringles Park, call 731-988-5299 or visit www.jacksongeneralsbaseball.com.