The Salem Red Sox will have strong representation at the 2017 Carolina League All-Star Game, with five players joining their coaching staff as part of the Northern Division roster for the festivities at Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark on June 19 and 20.
For the first time since 1995, the Carolina League will hold its own distinct All-Star game, pitting players from the Northern Division against players from the Southern Division. This is the first time Salem has hosted the All-Star game since 2006, when it featured players from the Carolina League against a roster of California League stars.
Sluggers Michael Chavis and Josh Ockimey, hot-hitting middle infielder Chad De La Guerra, league-leading lefty starter Dedgar Jimenez and sidewinding relief ace Trevor Kelley make up the player contingent of Salem’s delegation. Manager Joe Oliver, pitching coach Paul Abbott, strength coach Gregory Bourn, and athletic trainer Nick Kuchwara comprise the field staff for the Northern Division team.
The Northern Division’s starting infield will have several familiar faces for Salem fans, with Red Sox first baseman Ockimey, second baseman De La Guerra and third baseman Chavis all earning starting nods alongside Wilmington Blue Rocks shortstop Nicky Lopez. In the outfield, Frederick Keys stars Austin Hays andRandolph Gassaway are set to flank Potomac Nationals phenom Victor Robles. Potomac will also have a starter behind the plate, with slugger Taylor Gushue getting the nod at catcher. Frederick shortstop Ryan Mountcastle will serve as the designated hitter. Field reserves include Lynchburg Hillcats catcher Sicnarf Loopstok, infielders Sam Haggerty (Lynchburg) and Kelvin Gutierrez (Potomac), and outfielder Anderson Miller (Wilmington).
The North has no shortage of top arms, either. Salem southpaw Jimenez is among the starters named to the roster, alongside Lynchburg’s dominating duo of Triston McKenzie and Shao-Ching Chiang and Wilmington’s wipeout arms of Foster Griffin and Cristian Castillo. The bullpen is well-stocked with top talent, including relief aces Kelley (Salem), Argenis Angulo (Lynchburg), Tanner Chleborad(Frederick), Yunior Marte and Richard Lovelady (both Wilmington).
Salem manager Joe Oliver, pitching coach Paul Abbott, strength coach Gregory Bourn and athletic trainer Nick Kuchwara comprise the field staff for the Northern Division team.
The Southern Division has a strong representation from the Carolina League’s two newest clubs, the Down East Wood Ducks and the Buies Creek Astros. On-base machine Myles Straw (Buies Creek) is an outfield starter alongside Carolina Mudcats star Corey Ray and Myrtle Beach Pelicans standout Daniel Spingola. The infield features starters from four teams, with Jake Gatewood (Carolina) manning first base,Bryant Flete (Myrtle Beach) at second, Winston-Salem Dash leader Danny Mendickat shortstop, and Cuban import Luis La O (Down East) at third base. Zack Collins(Winston-Salem) gets the start at catcher, while Cubs top prospect Eloy Jimenez (Myrtle Beach) will be the designated hitter. The reserves for the Southern Division are Isan Diaz (Carolina), Louis Silverio (Winston-Salem), Chuck Moorman and Josh Altman(Down East).
Myrtle Beach ace Justin Steele headlines the starters on the pitching staff, along with Dash southpaw Tanner Banks, Mudcats righties Freddy Peralta and Cody Ponce, Astros flamethrower Franklin Perez, and fellow Pelican Adbert Alzolay. The South boasts some terrific twirlers in the bullpen too, with league saves leader Nate Griep(Carolina), Ricardo Rodriguez (Down East), Yoanys Quiala and Nick Hernandez(both Buies Creek).
As 2016 Mills Cup champions, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will furnish the coaching staff for the Southern Division. Buddy Bailey helms the team, with pitching coachAnderson Tavares, hitting coach Guillermo Martinez, and trainer Toby Williams.
As part of a celebration of 50 years of Carolina League baseball in the Roanoke Valley, the Red Sox will host a skills competition on Monday, June 19. The skills competition will take place at historic Kiwanis Field, the original home of Carolina League baseball in Salem. Tickets are on sale now at the Haley Toyota Field box office or online at SalemSox.com.