4/4/23 : Reading Opening Day Roster
The Fightins will be a roster primarily consisting of internally developed players (21 players that were drafted or originally signed as international free agents) and is a team that should be competitive in the AA level Eastern League. Twenty eight players are made eligible each game day however more than that are generally listed on the team list. Here’s the initial Reading roster.
Pitchers : 16
LH : Josh Hendrickson, Keylan Killgore, Taylor Lehman, Ethan Lindow, David Parkinson
RH : Mick Abel, Andrew Baker, Cristian Hernandez, Max Kuhns, Adam Leverett, Zach Linginfelter, Tyler McKay, Tyler Phillips, Brett Schulze, Andrew Schultz, Braden Zarbnisky
The starting staff will be Abel, Phillips, Lindow, Hendrickson and Parkinson with Killgore being a bulk reliever. The back end of the bullpen will feature big arms such as Hernandez, Linginfelter, Baker, Kuhns, Schultz, Schulze and Zarbnisky.
Tyler Phillips will be the opening day starter for the Fightins, he’s coming off an impressive spring camp and will be a pitcher who could advance quickly. Mick Abel returns to Reading with his power arsenal in tow. Cristian Hernandez advances to the AA level for the first time, he’s had a good camp and is coming off an All-Star performance in the Arizona Fall League.
The bullpen has big time velocity with both Andrew Baker and Andrew Schultz in the upper nineties to triple digits range with their fastballs. Zach Linginfelter is a power arm obtained in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Angels organization. He’s 25 years old and showed the ability to bring the heat in the mid to upper nineties this spring, raw and imposing stuff but battles command, will be interesting to see how he progresses, spent the last two seasons at the AA level with the Angels.
Griff McGarry and Andrew Painter presumably begin the season on the injured list.
Catchers : 3
Herbert Iser, Max McDowell and Cody Roberts
Cody Roberts will be the primary catcher, he was selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft from the Orioles organization and played most of last season with AA Bowie, he’s an excellent defender and thrower who is 26 years old and played collegiately at the University of North Carolina. Max McDowell ( minor league free agent signing from Yankees ) and Herbert Iser ( 2019 23rd round draft selection - Dallas Baptist ) are both excellent defenders and also will see plenty of action behind the dish.
Infielders : 8
Cameron Cannon, Oliver Dunn, Matt Kroon, Pedro Martinez, Nick Podkul, Wendell Rijo, Madison Stokes and McCarthy Tatum
Matt Kroon returns to action after missing most of last season with a leg injury, he’s slated to play third base primarily but will likely also see time in the outfield. Carlos De La Cruz will play first base quite a bit along with the outfield, he will be a middle of the order presence. Oliver Dunn ( Yankees ), Cameron Cannon ( Red Sox ) and Pedro Martinez ( Rays ) were all minor league Rule 5 selections this past off season and along with Wendell Rijo will man the middle infield positions. Nick Podkul and McCarthy Tatum will see action at both corners and Madison Stokes returns to Reading in a super utility role.
Outfielders : 4
Carlos De La Cruz, Baron Radcliff, Johan Rojas and Ethan Wilson
All four players are slated to be lineup regulars, Rojas will be the primary center fielder with the others covering the corner slots, McCarthy Tatum, Nick Podkul, Madison Stokes and Matt Kroon will all likely see innings in the outfield as well.