X's manager facing roster cuts before opener - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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X's manager facing roster cuts before opener

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X's manager Steve Montgomery has to cut his roster to 21 next week. X's manager Steve Montgomery has to cut his roster to 21 next week.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - The Sioux City Explorers will start their 100-game season Thursday, May 15th. Before that, the X's have four exhibition games, which at first glance don't seem very important.  But don't tell that to the coaching staff, who is trying to figure out who to keep and who to let go.

The Explorers have been together less than a week. They played their second exhibition game on a high school field in Hinton, Iowa. The short fences led to a crazy final score of 23-16. But for manager Steve Montgomery, every pitch matters.

"Not only are we evaluating in the games, but how the guys approach their business on a daily basis," said Montgomery. "How they go about their business is big with me because I don't want guys who are just satisfied to be here."

By Tuesday, the X's roster has to be down to 21. Following American Association rules, the roster has to include no more than five veterans -- a player that has six or more years of pro experience -- and at least four rookies.

"Guys got to stay injury free. Guys got to stay hungry to play because the regular nine players are going to get the bulk of the playing time," added Montgomery. "I told guys when I was signing them that I'm bringing in the best talent I can bring in and come cut down day, somebody's going to have to go."

Montgomery is a rookie manager, so he'll be cutting players for the first time. He was a minor league player for ten years, so he knows how it feels to be let go.

"I've been released four time myself," added Montgomery. "It's just part of the business. It's going to be a different day for me because usually I'm just the one sitting there listening, then shaking a hand and saying goodbye. Now it's going to be me talking. Come May 15th we're going to take those 21 guys up to Sioux Falls and let the chips fall where they may."

Montgomery will start the season with 11 pitchers and 10 position players. The X's home opener is Saturday, May 17th, also against Sioux Falls.
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