— Greetings, loyal Thunder Thoughts reader! Welcome back for the 2012 season. I’m looking forward to covering as many games as I can at Waterfront Park this year, although there will inevitably be a handful of conflicts with covering/going to NHL Playoff games
and having zero interest in getting up at six in the morning for those awful, awful day games and other commitments. In all seriousness, I’ve already agreed to write for The Trentonian for the April 11 game at 10:35 AM. So you’ll even see me at some day games this year as well.
— Getting down to business, I already posted the Thunder Opening Day roster, as you saw. Well, sort of. It’ll need to get trimmed down by two players before Thursday to get to the (new) limit of 25 active players. Some combination of a pitcher, infielder and catcher will likely come down with an awful case of “too many guys-a-citis” before the first pitch is thrown. I personally think you’ll definitely see a catcher go on the DL since Addison Maruszak is again on the roster and can be a third catcher if needed, and probably a pitcher as well.
— The New Hampshire Fisher Cats come into town Thursday night, and are a pretty good representation of a farm system that Baseball America ranks ahead of the Yankees. Kevin Gray of The New Hampshire Union Leader writes that Drew Hutchison will be the Opening Day starter, and he could be worth the price of admission alone. He’s coming off a very successful 2011 season that saw him pitch at three different levels, and he might not be long for New Hampshire. Hutchison is ranked as the 9th best Blue Jays prospect by BA, and Deck McGuire, who is slated one spot ahead of him, will likely pitch Saturday. Chad Jenkins, yet another top 30 guy, goes Friday.
For those of you who remember the Fernando Hernandez era in Trenton, you’ll be happy to know that he’ll be returning to Waterfront Park with New Hampshire on Thursday. Kevin Howard, who last played for Trenton in 2006, also comes back…although he helped beat them as recently as last year.
— Tomorrow is media day. Every player — well, almost everyone…according to Josh Norris, Abe Almonte won’t be there because of some sort of “one Almonte per media day” rule in Trenton…all right, that really isn’t why — will be subject to my silly questions. Tell me who you want to hear from. Tell me what you want to know.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com // Twitter: mashmore98