Buffalo Bisons Season Preview

The Herd open the season up tomorrow as they take on the Rochester Red Wings.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm.  Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons

The Herd open the season up tomorrow as they take on the Rochester Red Wings.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm.  Photo Credit: Buffalo Bisons

Summer is finally here! Well not exactly but we are pretty darn close. I know it’s 40 degrees outside and the litter from last fall has just barely seen the light of day, but I promise you its right around the corner. The days are progressively getting longer, the birds are starting to chirp, and the boys of summer are starting to take the field. It’s baseball season again in Buffalo! The Bisons will start their 2015 campaign tomorrow, April 9th against the Rochester Red Wings, a 2:05 pm (EST) first pitch thrown by Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan. It’s a long season, with plenty of new faces as well as perks around the ballpark.

The Team

This year’s squad is absolutely loaded, with a perfect mix of power and speed. A few familiar faces are peppered throughout the roster, including fan favorite Josh Thole and pitcher Rob Rasmussen but it’ll be the newcomers that will make most of the impact. Corner infielder Andy Wilkins will provide immense power to the line-up, as he led the International League in home runs last year with 30. The base paths will also get a little faster, adding Ezequiel Carrera, who stole 43 bases last season.  Add that to All Stars OF Chris Dickerson and IF Matt Hague, and you have yourself a very dangerous line up.

The pitching staff is nothing to take lightly either. Starting with ace Andrew Albers; the Canadian import most recently spent time pitching in Korea, before signing with the Blue Jays organization. Veteran names like Randy Wolf and Jeff Francis, who combine for 404 decisions in 26 Major League seasons, will man the middle of the rotation. But those names pale in comparison to former Cy Young Award Winner Johan Santana, who is expected to make his Bisons debut after opening the season on the disabled list.

New Additions

The most obvious addition to the game itself will easily be the new Pace of Play Clock. Ballparks across the country will be installing said clocks in an effort to speed up gameplay. Capped at 20 seconds between pitches and two minutes and 25 seconds between innings, the timer is definitely going to draw a lot of attention from fans this year.

Comfort will also be a focus this coming season, as 3,200 new seats were installed, stretching from dugout to dugout in the lower level. The new seats are wider than the former, giving the fan more room and a more comfortable experience.

A new look will be green infield seats this year, replacing the 26 year old red seats.

A new look will be green infield seats this year, replacing the 26 year old red seats.

Promotions

As always, the Bisons will have fireworks every Friday night as part of the "fridaynightbash!"... In addition to that, there are some cool promotions worth noting.

Sunday May 17th: Dog Day at the Park

Saturday May 30th: Superhero Night

Sunday, June 14th: Luke Easter Bobble Head Giveaway

Friday July 3rd: Independence Eve Celebration with the BPO

Saturday July 18th: Star Wars Night

Friday, August 21st: Zombie Night.

This season should be a memorable one for the Herd, with the best roster in several years, expect them to contend for the International League crown. The weather may not be perfect and we may have a few more months to go before it truly breaks, but man is it nice to have baseball back. So break in your mitt, get the dogs on the grill and enjoy the next six months of America’s pastime.