2017/18 ABL R1 – Sydney v Adelaide
18 Nov 2017 12:30 AEST
Round 1 of the 2017/18 Australian Baseball League season features Canberra v Brisbane.
Tony Harris’ first test as Sydney manager will come against his former side Adelaide in the opening round.
The Blue Sox will open their second consecutive season at home to the Bite as they begin their task of returning to the postseason following a two-year absence. Sydney enters the campaign with plenty of optimism with not just a new manager but some big-name signings.
Chiang Chih-hsien is the biggest name with the Taiwanese slugger set to join after a successful CPBL stint. Another addition to the offence, which struggled to produce runs last season, is 41-year-old former Olympian Gavin Fingleson. The Blue Sox have secured starter Trevor Foss for another season while Sven Schueller rejoins the bullpen. Luke Wilkins retains his spot in the rotation for Opening Weekend with Josh Guyer unavailable.
Adelaide will be hoping to get off to a winning start under rookie manager Chris Adamson. The Bite have been notoriously slow starters, going 1-4 to begin last season and 1-7 in 2015. Adamson has been dealt an early blow with slated Opening Weekend starter Steven Chambers out injured. He also has to fill the holes left by stars Stefan Welch and Mitch Dening.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BITE – Max Beatty: The former Chicago White Sox prospect gets the nod for an Opening Night start after pitching in Triple-A this season.
BLUE SOX – Jacob Younis: Younis tied with Michael Campbell for Sydney’s batting title and will be aiming to have an impact in round one.
Series split. The Blue Sox took the opening three games to open the season against Adelaide last season but we expect the Bite to grab another this time. Adelaide’s starting pitching looks stronger this season with the addition of two settled imports. Sydney enter Opening Weekend with a much stronger looking offence and could be a wildcard this season.