JOHNSON CITY, TN- The reigning Appy League champion Johnson City Cardinals hit the field for their first practice of the season Sunday night. The team kicks off the year on Thursday, hosting the Bristol Pirates.
Fans will see a few changes this year, most notably the new synthetic turf infield that was completed in the offseason. Roberto Espinoza is the new manager of the Cardinals, serving as the hitting coach last season.
“Last year we played as a team, as a unit,” said Espinoza. “That’s what we’re looking for as an organization.”
The team has some big talent on the 2017 roster, including the Cardinals’ first round pick last year, Delvin Perez. Coach Espinoza is excited about the team’s potential in 2017 and looking forward to helping the young players develop their skills.
“They need to understand what a professional means, how to handle situations, how to get through situations, be a true professional,” said Espinoza. “On the field, it’s just the routine plays. They’re still in the process. They need to keep learning how to play the game, how to go through the motions. All of those things. But, it’s no secret that we’ve got really good, talented players.”