We're five weeks into Spring Training which means its almost time to get our season underway! Next week the Blue Sox fly to Perth to take on the Perth Heat who are undoubtedly the most successful club in the Australian Baseball Leagues short history. But before the regular season gets underway we have some exhibition games to take care of this weekend
On Friday night the Blue Sox will host the Sydney State League All-Stars and a team made up of ABL import players. The Sydney State League is the amateur league that runs in Sydney during the summer. Many players in the league have played professional baseball and college baseball so the standard is very high. Many of these State League players may be called up to the Blue Sox at some point in the year if there are vacancies on the roster due to injuries so this game is a good chance to show the Blue Sox management what they are capable of. For me it will be a bit of fun as I may get the chance to pitch against my Ryde Hawks teammates.
On Saturday and Sunday we will play against all the imports who have flown in to play in the ABL. Imports from all six teams in the league will come together to make the ABL Imports team. This is a great way for the league to showcase the Minor League prospects in front of a local crowd. So far we have six imports at the Blue Sox with one still to arrive. We have Joey DeMichele and Jacob May who are both 3rd round picks from the 2012 and 2013 drafts respectively who are in the Chicago White Sox organisation. Keon Broxton was also a 3rd round pick but for the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2009 who spent last season playing in Double A. After having Tyler Collins and James Robbins from the Detroit Tigers in the last two seasons, the Blue Sox have continued that relationship with the Tigers organisation by including Dean Green on the roster who just spent last season playing with the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Florida State League. Rounding out our imports who have arrived are Connor Whalen who played in an Independent League in 2013 after spending a few years in affiliated baseball with the Brewers. Last but not least is Brendan Pittsley who came to Sydney to play for the Ryde Hawks but was given a chance to try out for the Blue Sox after impressing the coaching staff was offered a spot on the roster.
Even though they are just exhibition games I feel like it is a great tune up before the season gets underway. Many other teams in the league won't get to play games against quality opposition like we get to so it is a great advantage for us to play high intensity games like this right before the season begins. Only one week to go now and you better believe I'm counting down the days!