Preview: 2015 Fisher Cats Season Opener

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Mandatory Credit: Eastern League Twitter

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will open the 2015 season on April 9th at 6:35 ET with a 4-game series against the New Britain Rock Cats. In 2014, the Rock Cats were the Double-A farm team of the Minnesota Twins, but are now home to the Colorado Rockies Double-A team.

The Twins Double-A team finished the season in 3rd place, 15.0GB of Eastern Division winner Portland Sea Dogs. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats finished the year in tied for last place, 22.0GB.

The Eastern League is also home to the following American League East Double-A teams: Portland SeaDogs (Boston), Trenton Thunder (NYY), and Bowie Baysox. The Fisher Cats can expect to see the following ALE Top Prospects,who are listed on the respective teams Top 30 lists:

Boston- OF Henry Ramos

New York Yankees- RHP Luis Severino, C Gary Sanchez, OF Aaron Judge, 1B Greg Bird, 3B Eric Jagielo, OF Jake Cave, and OF Mason Williams

Baltimore- RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Zach Davies, LHP Tim Berry, RHP Mychal Givens, RHP Branden Kline, OF Mike Yastrzemski

The Eastern League was established in 1923 will be entering their 92nd season, but will be faced several new rules in an attempt to speed the game up. The time between innings and pitches will be monitored and the time between pitching changes will be decreased.

"ʺMinor League Baseball is excited to implement the pace of game initiatives at the Triple‐A and Double‐A levels of our organization,ʺ said Minor League Baseball President Pat OʹConner. ʺWe feel the emphasis on pace will lead to more fan enjoyment and better play on the field and is another example of the cooperative relationship between our leagues and Major League Baseball in the advancement of player development.ʺ (source)"

It’ll be interesting to see how these rule changes will impact the pace of the game, but let’s hope that it doesn’t take away from the product that is on the field. Speaking of which, lets look at how the Fisher Cats and the Rock Cats stack up.