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Heat Announce Roster Ahead of Season Opener
The Perth Heat look to get off on the right foot against the Melbourne Aces on Friday night
11/15/2017 4:35 AM ET
 

Opening day. There are no two words in sports that are so pure with possibility, so ripe with renewal. With the start of the 2017-2018 season just a day away, the Perth Heat look to put their 2016-2017 season in the rearview mirror and reverse their fortunes against the Melbourne Aces when the season gets underway on Friday night.

Last season the Perth Heat lost their opening series to the Melbourne Aces three games to one as the series was a harbinger of things to come. The Heat went on to finish last in the ABL with a 14-26 record, while the Melbourne Aces finished atop the standings by going 26-14.

The Heat have reason to believe that this season they will fare much better as their roster is loaded with new talent, headlined by four imports from the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system.

The most notable name of this group is outfielder Garrett Whitley, who is a former 1st round pick and is the number nine ranked prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays system according to MLB.com. The other imports from the Rays include catcher Zac Law, second baseman Michael Brosseau, and outfielder Jake Fraley.

This series will also be the first for new Perth Heat manager Andy Kyle, who has been involved with the Heat since 1998 and has high expectations for the season ahead.

"Anytime we step on the field we expect to win and with our new imports we hope to play some playoff baseball this season," Kyle said.  

In the series opener, right-hander Alex Boshers will toe the slab for the Perth Heat against the reigning ABL ERA leader Mark Hamburger of the Melbourne Aces. The two hurlers are familiar foes as they faced off this season in the American Association, an independent baseball league in the United States.

Slated for games two through four in the Heat rotation will be starting pitchers Tom Bailey, Nick Veale, and Kyle Simon respectively.

An opening series win would be a great step in rebounding from a last-place finish a year ago, especially against a high caliber opponent like the Melbourne Aces.

Additions: Garrett Whitley (OF), Zac Law ( C ), Mike Brosseau (2B), Jake Fraley (CF), Alex Boshers (RHP), Kyle Simon (RHP), Jake Turnbull (3B), Travis McDonald (RHP), Jake Baker, Andy Kyle (Manager)

Subtractions: Joey Wong (SS), Will Dennis (LHP), Mike Lee (RHP), Justin D'Alessandro (RHP), Lex Rutledge (LHP), Derek Peterson (OF), John Riley ( C ), Josh Kennelly (C ), Matt Kennelly (Manager)

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.