BY SHANE HENNIGAN
While nothing is official until Thursday, many familiar faces appear headed back to the RailRiders.
The team released its preliminary 25-man roster, which was first reported by The Times-Tribune, on Monday afternoon.
Seventeen of the players appeared with the RailRiders at some point during their run to the Governors’ Cup and Triple-A National Championship last season and eight, including five pitchers, are on the Yankees’ 40-man roster.
The RailRiders won’t officially announce their Opening Day lineup prior to their opener at Buffalo on
The pitching staff is led by Jordan Montgomery, who is scheduled to start that game against the Bisons, and 40-man guys Johnny Barbato, Luis Cessa, Dietrich Enns, Giovanny Gallegos and Ben Heller.
Enns pitched in an intrasquad scrimmage at the Yankees Player Development and Scouting Complex in Tampa, Florida, on Monday, striking out 12 over six shutout innings and allowing just two hits and no walks.
Ernesto Frieri, J.R. Graham, Jason Gurka, Tyler Jones, Brady Lail, Joe Mantiply and Tyler Webb also join the staff.
Kyle Higashioka, who was added to the 40-man roster in November, is the starting catcher and will be backed up by Eddy Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal with the Yankees on Monday after spending spring training with Minnesota.
The 31-year-old Rodriguez spent all of last season as Higashioka and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez’s backup and also played parts of 2015 with the RailRiders.
The infield consists of Rob Refsnyder, who is on the 40-man, along with Ji-Man Choi, Donovan Solano, Ruben Tejada, Tyler Wade and Cito Culver.
Top prospects Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler as well as Mason Williams and Mark Payton will man the outfield.
Baseball America ranks Frazier and Fowler as the Nos. 2 and 9 prospects in the organization, respectfully, while Williams is on the 40-man.
The RailRiders also added another member to their coaching staff, as Tyson Blaser will serve as bullpen coach.
Blaser signed with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent from the University of Iowa in 2011 and spent four seasons in the organization. He last played for Double-A Trenton in 2014.
The 29-year-old was the head baseball coach of United Township High School in East Moline, Illinois, last season.
McMyne slated for Triple-A
Old Forge graduate Kyle McMyne is finally out of Florida and potentially could be nearing a visit back home.
The 27-year-old reliever will begin his seventh season in Cincinnati’s organization at Triple-A Louisville, which released its preliminary roster Monday. He pitched the last two years exclusively at Double-A Pensacola.
The Bats make their only visit to PNC Field on April 25-27. McMyne has never pitched above Double-A.
The Reds selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft from Villanova University. McMyne recorded the final two outs, including a strikeout, in the top of the ninth inning and was credited with the win in Cincinnati’s March 24 spring training game against Milwaukee.
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Al Pedrique (Manager)
Tommy Phelps (Pitching coach)
P.J. Pilittere (Hitting coach)
Doug Davis (Defensive coach)
Tyson Blaser (Bullpen coach)
Darren London (Athletic trainer)
Brad Hyde (Strength and conditioning coach)