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Travs Digital Scorecard

Arkansas Travelers vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)

Opening Weekend – April 5-7, 2024

Today's Game Notes

LEADING OFF--The Travelers look to avoid a sweep in the season opening series against Springfield.

LAST TIME OUT--The Arkansas Travelers rallied to take a lead but could not hold it late as the Springfield Cardinals took a 6-5 win on Saturday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Spencer Packard led the Travs comeback effort with two hits including his first home run of the season and three runs batted in. Three Springfield relievers did not allow an earned run over the final four innings as a three-run top of the seventh turned out to be the decisive frame.

FAMILIAR FACES--The 28 man season opening roster for the Travs has 12 players who have previously suited up for Arkansas...six hitters return with C Jake Anchia and INF Kaden Polcovich each entering their fourth year... also back are 1B Tyler Locklear, OF Spencer Packard, OF Alberto Rodriguez and INF Robbie Tenerowicz...on the mound, RHPs Blas Castano and Juan Mercedes return to the rotation with RHP Travis Kuhn and LHP Ben Onyshko back in the bullpen...LHP Peyton Alford who was with the club in 2022 and the playoffs last year and RHP Reid Morgan who spent half of 2021 with Arkansas are also with the club.

BYRD WATCHING--Robbie “Byrd” Tenerowicz is returns for a second season with Arkansas...became a fan favorite last year with his hustle, energy and flair for the dramatic...in addition to his outstanding hitting numbers, Byrd tied the franchise single season hit by pitch record last year getting plunked 21 times in only 87 games...he sits just 15 beanings shy of the Travs career mark.

ON THE RISE--Nine Travs have made their Double-A debut over the first two nights with two more players on the roster in line to do the same when the get into a game...headlining that group are the Mariners top two prospects INF Cole Young and C Harry Ford who are ranked 36th and 37th overall in baseball by MLB.com as well as RHP Logan Evans who drew the Opening Night start.

THE SCHEDULE--The 2024 Texas League schedule has Arkansas hosting all nine league opponents for the second consecutive season with two visits each from Frisco, Northwest Arkansas, San Antonio and Springfield...the Travs will go on the road to each division rival for two series and make one trip to four of the five teams in the South.

PACK THEM IN--Opening Night saw a crowd of 6,579 at Dickey-Stephens Park...it marked the largest attendance at a Travelers season home opener since the 2015 season.

MANAGER CHRISTIAN COLÓN--First year skipper Christian Colón takes over in the Travs dugout...entering his third year coaching after spending two seasons with Northwest Arkansas...spent 12 seasons playing through 2021 including parts of six years in the big leagues with Kansas City (2014-17), Miami (2017) and Cincinnati (2019-20)...won a World Series title with the Royals in 2015, driving in the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 12th inning of the decisive fifth game of the 2015 World Series...a former Texas League player with the Naturals...born in Puerto Rico, he now resides with his family in Cave Springs, Arkansas...believed to be the first Travs manager to live in the state year round since Gaylen Pitts in 1989.

MEET THE STAFF--Familiar faces abound on the Travs staff as Michael Peoples (Pitching Coach), Jose Umbria (Bench Coach) return along with Athletic Trainers Amanda Lee and Andy Turner as well as strength coach Stephany Soto. Mike Fransoso (Hitting Coach) joins the team after working this past season at High-A Everett.

PROSPECTING--The Travelers active roster is populated with five of the Mariners top 30 prospects based on the MLB Pipeline rankings...topping the list are SS Cole Young, top ranked in the system and #36 overall in baseball and C Harry Ford, second ranked in the system and #37 overall...also among Seattle’s top 30 are 1B Tyler Locklear (8), RHP Logan Evans (20) and OF Alberto Rodriguez (24).

READING THE CARDS--The Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals) enter the season after falling to the Travs in last year’s divisional playoffs...are managed by Jose Leger for the third consecutive season...Cardinals feature of the top 30 St. Louis prospects according to MLB Pipeline... heading the group is Pine Bluff native RHP Tink Hence who also ranks #60 overall in baseball... RHP Tekoah Roby is the Cards #2 prospect and #94 overall...other Cardinals in the organization’s top 30 include C Jimmy Crooks (11), RHP Max Rajcic (13), RHP Ian Bedell (19), Edwin Nuñez (23) and RHP Andre Granillo (27).