We’re on the verge of Opening Day for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
They begin their 2019 season in New Hampshire against the Fisher Cats.
Before first pitch Thursday, here’s what some of the new, and familiar, faces of the team have to say about the upcoming season.
As the Binghamton Rumble Ponies continue to fine tune their skills ahead of Opening Day 2019, both new and veteran players alike are all in the same boat.
Everyone on the team is looking to contribute in whatever way they can to help the team, as well as help their chances of moving up the ranks.
One player who was able to climb to the top of the Mets organization last season was Kevin Kaczmarski.
Kaczmarski spent most of last year with Triple-A Las Vegas before getting the call to the show.
Being back in Binghamton to start 2019, Kevin believes he’s able to bring what he learned moving up to the guys in this clubhouse.
“I think so. I think it’s nice for guys to see that and build off that. See somebody else make it, they think that they can make it too. So, I think that’s huge,” he says.
A couple other players making their return to Rumbletown are Andres Gimenez and Will Toffey.
Gimenez, the Mets organization’s top prospect, was called up in mid-July of last season from High-A St. Lucie. Meanwhile, Toffey was acquired by New York via the Jeurys Familia trade last July.
Both are happy to be back with the Ponies this year, and both are thankful to be at 100% heading into the new season.
“Last year, I learned a lot. I was very happy to finish here, and I’m happy this year to be here again with these guys and the team. And healthy, that’s the goal this year, and to win,” Gimenez said.
“Definitely feel really good at the plate. I feel good in the field. Just, for me too, I had surgery in the off-season. Getting that fixed, and kind of cleaning up my left shoulder just so there’s more fluidity. I was able to put on a lot of strength in the off-season. So, I think all those things really helped over the course of the off-season to kind of help lead for a better 2019 year,” says Toffey.
Of course, with any minor league ball club, there are plenty of fresh faces in Binghamton this year.
That includes a new manager as well.
Kevin Boles left Triple-A Pawtucket to become the Ponies new skipper, and he’s feeling up to the task.
“I was looking for a new challenge. Boston, my time with them was great. I got to end on a winner, have another World Series ring coming. So, that’s going to be an honor to get that. But, looking for a new challenge and to develop a winner here,” Boles said.
Anthony Kay is ready to make his Double-A debut as well, being named the team’s Opening Day starter.
The lefty from Long Island is thrilled not only for that honor, but also to have made the jump up from Single-A.
“Yeah, I’m excited about it. It should be fun, a lot of fun to pitch against some of the best players in the Minor Leagues and show them what I got,” says Kay.
While everyone has their own individual goals, in the end, the team goal is the same.
“We’re trying to build a winner here.”
“We want to win. That’s always number one, winning baseball games.”
“We have a mission, and it’s win.”
That mission begins on the road Thursday.
Their first game at NYSEG Stadium comes on April 11th against the Erie Seawolves.
First pitch for that one is at 6:35 pm.