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Fisher Cats rained out in Pennsylvania

Staff Report
April 07. 2014 6:53PM

The Fisher Cats’ series this week against the Fightin’ Phils has been reduced to two games.

Rain postponed Monday’s Eastern League series opener between New Hampshire and Reading. That game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 19 in Reading.

The teams will resume what now becomes a two-game series today at 6:35 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium in Pennsylvania. The Fisher Cats are expected to start righthander Casey Lawrence.

Toronto made a series of roster moves Monday impacting the Fisher Cats’ roster. Left-handed reliever Richard Bleier was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo and reliever Wil Browning was elevated to New Hampshire from Dunedin to take Bleier’s roster spot. And catcher A.J. Jimenez has been placed on the disabled list retroactive to April 5.

The roster moves leave the Fisher Cats with 24 active players, one below the Eastern League maximum.

Bleier, acquired in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December, appeared in one game for the Fisher Cats last Friday. He pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings during the Fisher Cats’ 7-3 win against Trenton. He was originally a member of the Rangers organization, and made his Triple-A debut a year ago with Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League.

Browning signed as a free agent after the June draft in 2012. He spent the majority of last season with Class A Lansing. This year he has one appearance with Dunedin of the Florida State League, tossing one scoreless inning. Browning has a 1.79 ERA over 64 career appearances.

Jimenez’s injury was not disclosed but he left Friday’s game against Trenton after collecting his third hit. He was 5-for-8 with a pair of doubles and a team-high three RBIs at the time of his injury.

Fisher Cats President and General Manager Rick Brenner, who enters his 21st season as a minor league baseball executive, said his staff is ready for Thursday’s 6:35 p.m. home opener against Binghamton at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

“The weather this weekend is going to be fabulous for baseball, and we can’t wait to start,” said Brenner, who praised turf manager Dan Boyle and his staff for getting the field ready.

“In the middle of March, Dan and his crew started removing snow from the warning track, melting ice in the dugout and using ground warmers,” said Brenner. “The extra week into the season has given us time to sell more tickets, and complete the final touches in and around the stadium. We also added new sinks and counter tops in the restrooms throughout the stadium.”

While Brenner acknowledged it was a tough winter in the Northeast, he pointed out that things could be worse.

“Some people may still remember we had eight inches of snow during our home opener in 2007,” Brenner said. “So this week we’re definitely in better shape heading into our home opener Thursday.”

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