The last of the short-season leagues, the Appalachian League, starts tonight. Here's a little basic information about the league.
There are ten teams, divided into two divisions. They play a sixty-eight game schedule. Teams take the names of their parent clubs, but are also listed by towns. The top two teams in each division go to the playoffs. Each playoff series is best-of-three.
The Elizabethton Twins are once again managed by Ray Smith. Jeff Reed remains the batting coach and Luis Ramirez is the pitching coach. Takashi Miyoshi is also a coach. The play in Joe O'Brien field. They won the Appalachian League championship last year and have won the championship seven times since 2000.
I'm not going to go through the roster, but there are two things about it that caught my eye. One is a pitcher named Kody Funderburk. I was not quickly able to find out if he's related to '80s Twin Mark Funderburk, but it seems at least possible. The other is that Colton Waltner is listed as a designated hitter. My guess is that it's a bad sign for your career when you're in the Appalachian League and they've already given up on you as a fielder.