TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The roster is set, and so are the ValleyCats to make their Frontier League debut Thursday.
Tri-City opens the season with an eight-game road trip with the first five contests at Sussex County against the Miners. The 'Cats would love to open the season at home in front of their fans, but manager Pete Incaviglia thinks the road trip will build character.
"That's usually a good chemistry builder when you go on a long road trip but they're ready to go out and start playing real baseball games," Incaviglia said. "They've really worked hard and diligent for the past two weeks and we're kind of anxious to see where we're at."
"It'll be good to get a measuring stick on what kind of club we got," Incaviglia added.
While Tri-City is no longer in affiliated ball, the players realize there are still plenty of opportunities available to carve a path. Catch Jhon Nunez has already been poached by the Miami Marlins, giving the ValleyCats hope for their futures.
"That was pretty exciting, you know, and it happened so quick," shortstop Carson Maxwell said. "We haven't even started the season and there's already people getting picked up, guys coming to look at us."
"It's kind of a boost of encouragement you know," Maxwell added. "Seeing people get picked up boosts our encouragement to play and win."
"Not being affiliated that's okay," pitcher Andrew Bellatti said. "We're still going to put some product on the field, work hard every day, get to our ultimate goal for sure."
First pitch is set for 7:05 Thursday night.