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Pelicans announce 2024 opening day roster

MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have unveiled their Opening Day roster for the 2024 season. The 29-man group includes 17 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders, and four outfielders. Four members of the Cubs’ 2023 draft class and 16 former Pelicans will take the field at Pelicans Ballpark to begin the 2024 season.

Buddy Bailey returns to the Pelicans as the manager for his seventh season after leading the club from 2016-18 and 2021-23. During his time in Myrtle Beach, Bailey has won five half-season Southern Division Championship titles, one Southern Division Championship title, and the Carolina League Championship in 2016. Bailey has also tallied 2,355 career regular-season victories, a number that stands fourth place all-time among minor league managers. Last year, Bailey led the Pelicans to their 13th playoff appearance after claiming the Carolina League South Division first-half title. This year will mark Bailey’s 36th season as a minor league manager.

Highlighting the Pelicans roster are brothers Cristian and Alexis Hernandez, as they enter the 2024 season as the Cubs’ No. 23 and 24 prospects by MLB Pipeline, respectively. 20-year-old Cristian spent the entirety of the 2023 season in Myrtle Beach, playing a team-high 106 games, mainly at shortstop. Alexis will make his full-season debut at 19 years old after hitting .315 across 37 games in the Arizona Complex League in 2023.

16 players who have experience wearing the Pelicans uniform will return in 2024. After leading the team with 60 RBI in 2023, outfielder Andy Garriola will suit up for the Pelicans for his second season in the Cubs organization. 2023 Birds’ strikeout leader Marino Santy will start the year in Myrtle Beach following a 100-strikeout season. Another familiar name on the Grand Strand is outfielder Jacob Wetzel, who spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons in Myrtle Beach. Pitcher Jack Patterson started five games for the Birds in 2019 and will return to the mound after being sidelined for the last four years. Other returning players include Garrett Brown, Dominic Hambley, Scarlyn Lebron, Branden Noriega, Kenyi Perez, Starlyn Pichardo, Erian Rodriguez, David Avitia, Wally Soto, Reginald Preciado, Jefferson Encarnacion, and Christian Olivo.

“We are looking forward to having this group in Myrtle Beach for the 2024 season,” said Pelicans President Ryan Moore. “The 25th season of Pelicans Baseball will bring spectacular moments and incredible memories for fans on the Grand Strand.”

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