The Canaries were unable to get much work in during the preseason, with two games being rained out. However these birds of a feather are ready to flock together.
With the Canaries 2014 campaign about to get underway they have decided to once again put the league's all-time strikeout leader on the bump for opening day. Ben Moore set the record last season, but this year he wants what he played for in Australia during the off-season.
"I want to win the championship, that's got to be the goal." Canaries Pitcher Ben Moore stated. "I know for a lot of guys their goal is to do as well as they can, for as long as they can here, then get picked up and out of here. That will only help us though. If we keep getting good guys in and they keep getting picked up that means that we are good players which Steve Shirley is really good at," he added.
The Birds Skipper is only bringing back one familiar bat this season and that is Kevin Dultz. He hopes that former Atlanta Brave Brandon Jones will be able to carry the offensive load while bringing a winning attitude to improve their 42-58 record a year ago.
"Hopefully I can bring a lot of leadership," Canaries Outfielder Brandon Jones said. "I just hope to show them the right way to win baseball games. If we cut down on mistakes we will have a good year."
On the mound the Canaries should show their strength as they are returning five pitchers including two starters in Moore and Kevin Ruwe, as well as closer Kevin DeRatt.
"It's very good because we have high expectations of those guys and they have been able to deliver for a while," Canaries Manager Steve Shirley said.
"It is very important,” Jones said. "You have to have pitching and defense win games, so if they can keep us in the games I'm sure we'll squeak a few wins out."
The Canaries set a club record for attendance in 2013 and with all the new players on this year's roster it should be another fun summer at the Birdcage.
"We're looking forward to it," Shirley said. "We have a lot of new faces in town, a lot of new people on our ball club, so we are excited to see what they can do as we move forward. I'm excited about the work we have put in and I'm excited to see what these guys can do once we get into the games."
The Canaries will host the Explorers Thursday and Friday night, before traveling to Sioux City on Saturday. The rivals will finish their four game series at the Birdcage on Sunday.