With opening day coming up on Thursday the Sioux City Explorers have finalized their 23-man roster. It includes the five required rookies, with four veterans.
Manager Stan Cliburn's squad went 2-2 in the preseason, getting a combined 34 hits in their last two wins over Sioux Falls and Lincoln.
Eleven pitchers are on the roster, but with veteran Richard Salazar on the inactive list, there is just one left-hander, reliever Josh Poytress.
The X's were 45-55 last season, but 19 of the 23 players weren't on the opening day roster last year.
"They're new and I'm new to them," said Cliburn. "First impressions to me mean a lot. I think they're going to play hard. They got it drilled in their minds, the first couple days here, about team chemistry, what I believe in, the philosophy I believe in. If they buy into the philosophy it will work for them on the field. The newcomers are the guys that have to buy into that and I think they will."
Thursday's home opener against Sioux Falls starts at 7:05. Veteran righthander Josh Rainwater is the opening day pitcher for Sioux City.
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