RedHawks make the most of training camp ahead of shortened season
The RedHawks reported to training on June 25th. The season begins July 3rd.
FARGO, N.D. — Friday is the start of the American Association baseball season.
The decision for play to go off amid the coronavirus pandemic with a six-team, 60-game schedule came on a bit of short notice.
The league announced their plans on June 12th and training camp began just 13 days later on the 25th.
It was a small window for every team, including the RedHawks, to put together a roster, and an even smaller one to get guys back on the field and ready for game action.
“There are a lot of moving parts in any particular season with a shortened training camp. There is always a concern of guys being all ready, being close to being ready,” said interim manager, Chris Coste. “We don’t have the six weeks, so we have been pleasantly surprised with guys being ready to go mentally and physically. Obviously the excitement level for guys to be able to play is pretty high.”
Each RedHawks player arrived at Newman Outdoor Field coming off of their own unique quarantined practice schedule, but one thing they all have in common is that none of them have seen game action in at least a few months.
“As a pitcher, we don’t get to see live hitting,” said pitcher Bradin Hagens. “If you do, you only get to see so much of it and it’s still not necessarily game situation for us. I think it is going to be somewhat even as far as that aspect depending on what you are coming from and what appropriations you were able to have at home.”
The RedHawks are able to get a piece of game action before the season actually begins.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes are also calling Newman their home for the next couple of months.
The opponents have had the opportunity to play some simulated games to get both squads ready ahead of the start of real competition.
“We have been going pretty hard for a couple of days,” said catcher Dylan Kelly. “Just trying to learn everybody as quick as I can. We got a lot of good pitchers; a lot of good players. When we play these scrimmage games, I learn a lot more than I would a regular bullpen.”
Although Fargo-Moorhead and Winnipeg have a long rivalry within the league, there hasn’t been any issues with having to share territory.
In fact, the RedHawks are happy to welcome the Canadian neighbors to Fargo.
“There are guys over there I have been fortunate enough to bond with throughout our times in the game, anywhere. It is funny how we cross paths here on the Indy ball circuit,” said infielder Correlle Prime. “I have seen them come up through the minor leagues and other levels. Living in Florida, just crossing paths wherever, it is actually pretty cool to have an extended family here on the other side.”
The two teams will see each other a lot more than just at practice.
The RedHawks and the Goldeyes face off 24 times throughout the summer. Winnipeg will be the home team for half of those.