THREE-RIVERS — supporters of the Eagles have often been disappointed when they were promised a team to be more competitive. Is it that 2018 will be the year of redemption? The manager T. J. Stanton is convinced that yes.
Called upon to analyze its forces, at the dawn of the start of the season on Friday against the Champions of Ottawa, who begins his second full year with the Birds in the League Can-Am does not seek far to identify improvements to the group during the winter.
“First of all, it looks like a real group of players. I was tired of having to push some guys, in the past, I was angry to see that the defeat does not bother. Trois-Rivières is a city of blue-collar workers, I want to show a team in the image of our fans,” said Stanton, who has had three preseason matchups and many training sessions to make decisions. More will come as the season progresses.
“We have worked a lot on the match situations, how it should react in certain circumstances. We aim for a better start than for the other years.”
As is often the case with the Eagles, the season starts on the road, far from the Stage Stereo. Three games in Ottawa, before a rare pause of two days, and then a stop at the Miners of Sussex, including a program to double played to 11 h and 19 h, Thursday, may 24… the day before the inaugural meeting in Trois-Rivières! We’ve seen better such as hourly.
“With the League, Can-Am, there’s no need to be surprised to nothing, lance Stanton quip. It is terrible as a calendar, but we are going to do with it.”
In the race
For Stanton, the team to beat this summer will, until proof to the contrary, the Capitals of Quebec, champions of 2017. The Jackals in New Jersey and five of their former players to the Major, including the pitcher Matt Latos, are also expected at the summit, similar to the Boulders in Rockland, competitive every year, thanks to good recruitment and the force of attraction of their market (and their magnificent stadium).
“The Jackals have committed players impressive, but I’m looking forward to see what it will give on the field. It was expected that Phillippe Aumont dominates. It was good, but not the best pitcher in the circuit. It is necessary to be cautious when talking about new players.”
The Miners, the Champions and the Eagles are all expected to battle for the fourth and last place giving access to the playoffs. “For us, it is clear 100% that we will be in the fight. I do not think that we will start the series by telling us that we are really neglected. It’s going to take a bit of patience at the beginning, but this group has potential. Especially, it will be explosive in the attack.”
The record circuits for a vintage Eagles belongs to one of 2017, with 75 long balls. The new deputy Stanton, Kole Zimmerman, is “conservative” when he says that its batting can achieve, together, the 85 circuits.
The ball to Elias
That’s not a problem, the question marks remain in the position of pinch hitter designated as well as on the side of the mound. Ethan Elias, to whom Stanton would entrust the ball Friday in Ottawa for the first game, has primarily been used as a reliever since the beginning of his career, before moving on to the organization of the Boulders to that of the Eagles, in the past year.
“This is the first time that I will be launching an inaugural game,” said Elias, crossed on the ground Thursday at the end of the practice. “This is a beautiful brand trusted of T. J. I hope I can help the team.”
Stanton has been impressed by his game and his fitness. “We will be difficult to cope, predicts the Canadian native of Saskatoon, a former hope of the Chicago Cubs and Diamondbacks of Arizona. At this time, there is no club to beat in the league because you can leave them all to zero. What I do know is that we have several gamers in this team.”
Elias has had very good words for readers Philip Walby and Shaun Ellis. “I think they will remove a lot of batters. Keep your eye on them!”
The Venezuelan Alberth Martinez (outfielder) and Yender Caramo (starter) will have to wait. They should arrive in the city on June 5, since they have not yet received their work visa. Stanton was placed on the list of inactive players…
Surprise, Matthew Rusch has conducted more than 100 free throws Thursday during an exercise with the batting. The manager said that his deputy could be a plan B if one of his starters does not do the job. This would force him to release a veteran.