Today is the official Opening Day in Major League Baseball, even though some teams played yesterday. All MLB teams have officially announced their rosters to begin the season, with five former Beavers making the cut.
Jacoby Ellsbury will once again be roaming the outfield of Yankee Stadium as he begins his fourth season in the pinstripes. Ellsbury was drafted in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, winning two world series in beantown and finishing second in MVP voting in 2011 before switching sides in baseball’s most heated rivalry prior to the 2014 season. The Madras native hopes to regain the form he had in Boston and led the Bronx Bombers back to the playoffs.
Darwin Barney returns to the Blue Jays after a successful 2016 season that saw his career rebound after a few seasons bouncing between the big leagues and AAA. The Beaverton native, and 2 time college world series champion played all over the diamond for the Blue Jays in 2016 while hitting .269 in 104 games. While not penciled in as an everyday starter, expect Barney to see plenty of playing time in 2017 on an aging Blue Jay roster.
Michael Conforto, the #10 pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, impressed early in his New York career, helping guide the Mets to the 2015 world series as a rookie. The outfielder’s 2016 season did not go as well, as Conforto struggled at times and was sent back down to triple-A as the Mets loaded up with other outfielders. Still considered a key piece of the future for New York, Conforto impressed again in spring training and will open the season as a reserve outfielder for the Mets.
Matt Boyd, who was a key member of the Beavs most recent trip to Omaha in 2013, will start the season as the 5th starter for the Detroit Tigers. Originally drafted by Toronto, Boyd was dealt to the motor city in 2015 in a deal involving ace pitcher David Price. The lefty pitcher cracked the Tigers rotation last season as Detroit dealt with injuries to other starters. Boyd will have every chance this season to improve his numbers against right handed batters, or he may end up coming out of the bullpen.
Andrew Susac will open the season on the disabled list for the Milwaukee Brewers, but should be placed on the active roster upon his return. The 27 year-old catcher was traded from the San Francisco Giants to Milwaukee at the trade deadline last season, a move that sets up well for Susac as he has a chance to be the primary catcher for the Brewers.