Finally, we have baseball.

After two days of inclement weather in upstate New York, the RailRiders are set to open defense of their Governors’ Cup and Triple-A National Championship with a three-game, two-day series against the Buffalo Bisons. Today is the first of 20 scheduled meetings between the International League North Division rivals. They’ll meet 11 times here and nine at PNC Field.

RailRiders

Tyler Wade SS
Clint Frazier LF
Dustin Fowler CF
Kyle Higashioka C
Rob Refsnyder 2B
Mason Williams RF
Donovan Solano 3B
Ji-Man Choi 1B
Mark Payton DH
Johnny Barbato RHP

Buffalo Bisons

Chris Coghlan LF
Jake Elmore 2B
Darrell Ceciliani CF
Mike Ohlman DH
Rowdy Tellez 1B
Gregorio Petit SS
Juan Graterol C
Dwight Smith RF
Jason Leblebijian

 

  • Tyler Wade and Dustin Fowler are both set to make their Triple-A debuts after spending all last season at Double-A Trenton. With Clint Frazier batting second, three of the Yankees’ top prospects are hitting atop the order.

 

  • Rob Refsnyder gets the start at second base but expect to see him move around quite a bit. At Media Day on Tuesday, manager Al Pedrique said the plan was for Refsnyder to play third base and also see time at second, first and right field.

 

  • No surprise, but Jordan Montgomery is scheduled to start for the RailRiders on Tuesday against Lehigh Valley. Montgomery originally was supposed to be the RailRiders’ Opening Day starter but inclement weather forced the Yankees to move his season debut to High-A Tampa on Thursday. He struck out eight and allowed just one unearned run and three hits in five innings.

 

  • Nothing official but I assume that Chad Green will get the start for Trenton on Tuesday. Green relieved Montgomery for Tampa and actually took the loss after surrendering a leadoff home run in the ninth. Still, the Yankees were pleased with Green’s performance. Montgomery Green and even Luis Cessa, who is scheduled to start the RailRiders’ home opener Monday, are in contention to be the Yankees’ No. 5 starter.

 

  • Just speculating here but it doesn’t sound good for top pitching prospect James Kaprielian, who is on the disabled list with right elbow pain. Kaprileian was evaluated in Tampa on Friday by Yankees orthopedist Dr. Daniel Murphy and the underwent an MRI and dye-contrast MRI. The results were shared with team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad. However, Kaprielian, who made just three starts in 2016 after suffering a flexor tendon strain in his elbow, is scheduled to received further evaluation from Dr. Neal ElAtrrache in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

 

  • If you’re strictly talking about last season’s on-field performance and not the questionable weather, the RailRiders should be thrilled to open the season in Buffalo. Simply put, the RailRiders owned Coca-Cola Field in 2016. After dropping their first game here, the RailRiders won the last nine, which included a North Division-clinching win in the season finale Sept. 1.

 

  • The RailRiders dominated the 2016 season series in general, going 16-5. That includes an eight-game winning streak, which still stands, and taking 15 of the last 16 meetings.