The Billings Mustangs get their season started on Monday night at 9:05pm ET (7:05pm local time). The roster appears to have been updated on the Mustangs official site. Here’s what it looks like for opening night:

Billings Mustangs 2017 Roster


Name  Pos  Bat  Thw 
Max Wotell P R L
Cory Thompson P R R
Yerry Santos P R R
Connor Ryan P R R
Aaron Quillen P R R
Moises Nova P R R
Dauri Moreta P R R
Tyler Mondile P L R
Alfredo Mena P R R
Robby Howell P R R
Jhon De Jesus P R R
Tyler Buffett P R R
Connor Bennett P R R
Luis Alecis P R R
Miguel Aguilar P R R

Position Players

Name  Pos  Bat  Thw 
Morgan Lofstrom C L R
Pabel Manzanero C R R
Mitch Trees C R R
Jake Turnbull C L R
Leandro Santana 3B R R
J.D. Salmon-Williams 2B R R
Carlos Rivero SS L R
Montrell Marshall 1B R R
Alejo Lopez 2B S R
Nadir Ljatifi 3B R R
Manny Cruz 2B R R
Francis Azcona SS S R
Miles Gordon CF L R
Satchel McElroy RF R R
Andy Sugilio CF S R
Zeke White OF R R

The Pitching Staff

Max Wotell will get the opening night start for the Billings Mustangs according to the Billings Gazette. Their story has a rather interesting bit of information on the left handed pitcher.

In three starts, Wotell threw six innings, giving up 10 runs on 10 hits and seven walks. He was trying to pitch through shoulder soreness, which turned out to be a torn labrum, he said.

“I just felt some soreness at first and it continued to get worse,” Wotell said. “But being with a new organization you don’t want to come in and start whining about stuff.

This is the first time we’ve actually seen this, and it’s rather disappointing to see. In the trade for Jay Bruce the Reds acquired second baseman Dilson Herrera, who had an injured shoulder, and Max Wotell, a pitcher, who had a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. It would appear that the tear for Wotell wasn’t bad enough for surgery, or there’s no way he’d be pitching already (he actually pitched in Dayton, briefly, earlier this year).

Tyler Mondile looks like he’ll be in the rotation. The 6th round pick from 2016 made just four appearances last season after the draft, all with the Arizona League Reds. In high school he sat in the low 90’s and reached as high as 96 to go with a change up and a curveball for secondary offerings.

20-year-old Luis Alecis likely joins the rotation as well, coming up from the Arizona Rookie League from 2016. He posted a 3.26 ERA in 12 games with seven starts that spanned 47.0 innings where he had 50 strikeouts.

Jhon De Jesus makes the jump all of the way up from the Dominican Summer League, bypassing the AZL Reds. The 20-year-old posted a 2.85 ERA for the DSL Rojos last year in 13 starts. He threw 72.2 innings with 18 walks and 49 strikeouts.

Other names to watch will be former shortstop Cory Thompson who has converted to pitcher. I had heard some good things about his arm over the last couple of months, so it will be interesting to see how the transition goes. Dauri Moreta’s got some real arm strength and put up 56 strikeouts in 33.1 innings last season, mostly with the AZL Reds (2.2 innings in Billings). Only three 2017 draft picks show up on the roster and all three are pitchers. Tyler Buffett, the teams 6th rounder out of Oklahoma State, Connor Ryan, the teams 8th rounder and Robby Howell, the teams 10th rounder. The three are all right handers.

The Position Players

The team has four catchers listed on the roster. Jake Turnbull is the youngest of the group, and likely the top prospect among the group, too. I’d look for the Australian teenager to get time at first base some, as well as see time at designated hitter. He didn’t play much last season, dealing with a few injuries, but as a 17-year-old in 2015 he hit .291/.395/.373 in Arizona.

J.D. Salmon-Williams is listed at second base, but he’s played more outfield in his career than infield since being drafted in 2015. He’s coming up from the AZL Reds where he hit .272/.361/.427 with 14 walks and 30 strikeouts last season.

Montrell Marshall returns to Billings. The 1st baseman made big strides in plate discipline in 2016, but has yet to tap into his power potential that he shows off in batting practice. He’s 21-years-old this season and could be ready to take that next step.

Miles Gordon also returns to the Mustangs in 2017. He hit .262/.372/.369 there last season before an injury took him out for the rest of the season on July 22nd. On a play at the wall he wound up separating his shoulder and was put on the disabled list for the remaining part of the year.

Zeke White will be making his organizational debut when he takes the field. He came over to the Reds in the offseason trade for Dan Straily. The 20-year-old made strides in his approach with the Marlins last season, going from a 44-to-3 strikeout to walk ratio in 2015 to a 60-to-22 in 2016. His speed is top of the scale and is one of the faster runners in the entire organization.

34 Responses

  1. Steve

    Connor Ryan, the 8th pick is also on the roster. Is Mena the 5th starter? Hopefully, Greene signs soon and is the 5th starter. I guess Downs and Case start in Arizona. They, along with Wiggins and hopefully Bellinger will form the next set of IFs like LaValley, Long, AlfRod and Senzel. Fairchild joins Dayton and steps in for Friedl when he signs. Go Mustangs!

  2. simon cowell

    many reports out there that Bronson is about to hang em up. Hoping he stays on as some form of a coach. Looks like Homer will just slide in and take his spot.

    To be fair we should look at Bronson’s 2017 as a benefit to the Reds. yes he was absolutely terrible pitching wise. But he saved options on the youth and absorbed valube innings that would have been otherwise wasted on our yout. Imagine if the Reds had called up Castillo. Some would say good. I would say Bad. He needs more time for one and for a second Castillo would develop experience while burning options, pay, and with zero chance at playing in a competitive situation. The Reds aren’t going to be compete for anything but last place in 2017. Meanwhile Pensacola are in a championship mode. You don’t think that has any value? If so you do not see the big picture of player development. Maybe there is no state to gauge how a player performs when with a competitive team versus how they perform when there is no chance but just imagine youself. If you are in a postion and no matter how hard you perform you company will still be terrible oveall would you really burn yourself to shine and excel? Many do not, I’m not blaming the player I”m just stating a very cold hearted fact. Many players do not shine if not in a competitive situation. Others do. I am not sure of the mental makeup of our young players, some we can give logical deductions on and others we have no clue whatsoever.

    • Steven

      I would agree with you! Yes Arroyo was a human pinata this year, but he served his purpose. 9 years with the Reds with a 108-100 (16th all time wins with Reds) record and a 4.18 ERA, I hope the give him a chance to “retire” and then make him a roving instructor. I really believe he could impart a huge amount on knowledge on other pitchers since he always had average to below average “stuff” but relied on varying arm angles, mixing up speeds, etc.

      Also FWIW, Homer ranks 41st with all time wins at 60. If he comes back and can win 7 games this year that would put him 35th all time.

    • terry m

      If I was trying to get to the “Big Leagues” and was on a bad minor league team I would be busting my — off to improve and move up. Think the last thing I would do is to lay down because the team is bad.

      • simon cowell

        yeah that is not real world application. Anyone who has worked for a leading edge company and a bottom of the barrel company knows what I am talking about. You do not seem to understand. That is ok.

      • terry m

        I will stick with my comment. Hope you understand

      • MK

        I am with you here too Terry. I do not want the player who is not busting his butt whether team is competitive or not. If a player can’t get the competitive juices flowing in the big leagues regardless of team success compared to a winning minor league team then cut him now as he is a loser.

    • wes

      I still would have been cool if they just would have thrown Stephenson in the rotation the whole time. Rather see him carry a 7 era than arroyo. Let him learn by banging his head against the wall- see if he figures it out….hes going to eventually get cut anyway right? Cant keep him in minors forever? so why not play him?

      • simon cowell

        Stephenson is still so very young and we have years of control to also balance out. If he can learn in the minors that is better for the Reds long term

      • wes

        He’s 24 and this is his 6th year in the system. Where does he fit in? Times up IMO. He will prob get a chance later in year and to start next season but if he can’t put it together- he’s likely a goner sooner than later. And he still has no trade value : )

      • Doug Gray

        Saying time’s up on 24 year old pitchers is a terrible business practice.

      • Doug Gray

        Could fit in all kinds of places. The Triple-A rotation with the hopes he can take steps forward. The Triple-A bullpen with the hopes that a regular bullpen routine can turn him into an elite level reliever. The Reds rotation if he figures it out because his arm is better than many of the other options and if he figures it out, then he needs to be there. The Reds bullpen if he can be a reliable reliever.

        He doesn’t have to stick in the Major Leagues until the 2019 season. There’s absolutely no reason to claim “he’s done”. They’ve got time to spend on trying to help him get it figured out.

      • wes

        If you get a chance to go deeper on this for thursday please talk about the process of being added to 40 man roster and amount of callups remaining ect. also I thought I player was only able to stay on roster for like 6 or 7 years and then they had options? Any info is beneficial.

        thanks Doug!

    • Hingle

      All he did was force our bulllen to pitch more innings than what they should have. He helped this team in no wa way shape or form. I would rather see Stephenson out there getting his brains beat in.

  3. DaveCT

    The Mets pitcher, Flexen, who was in the Brandon Nimmo version of the Bruce trade, was the injured player scuttling that deal. (BA Prospect Handbook). Seems we had reached a point of desperation to trade Bruce. I think we’ll see a much better Herrera this year. Wotel seems like he will need a lot of work. Really excited to see what Mondile does this year. I thought he was a great pick at 6 last year.

  4. Case

    Still no Kahola? I was hoping he’d be back by now. You got any info on his situation Doug?

    • Bocephus

      As Doug has pointed out…. 50 game suspension starts today (Billings 1st game) but would be nice to hear an update if any new information available.

  5. MK

    Heard from a couple folks in Dayton on and off the field that Wottel has some maturity issues. Public displays of anger towards teammates when plays were not made behind him he thought should have been made. A few other things I won’t share. Might explain his very shirt stay in Dayton this sprint. This along with shoulder issues makes you wonder who is doing due diligence on trades.

    • MK

      Short and spring, not shirt and sprint. Stupid word correct.

  6. Jonathan

    I am looking forward to see what Jake Turnbull can do

  7. The Duke

    Not the most exciting Billings roster in recent years, but a few guys I am excited to see what they can do. Turnbull as long as he can stay behind the plate, Tyler Mondile is one I think might break out, Dauri Moreta looks interesting, and Miles Gordon and Zeke White have some promising athleticism. I still hope to see Greene, Downs, Fairchild (if he doesn’t go straight to Dayton) and maybe Cash join the team at some point as well though.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, wouldn’t surprise me if they get a tad more interesting with a few draft signings.

      Ray Martinez, the manager, said he thinks Hunter Greene will start there when he signs.

      • The Duke

        I wouldn’t think the AZL would be filled with guys who could hit Greene’s fastball. They need to determine a primary breaking ball and focus on improving it and getting it consistent. The vast majority of what I’ve read seem to think that will be the slider. Time to start throwing the breaking ball and changeup at least 30-35% of the time.

      • Doug Gray

        I think you might be surprised by some of the guys who could handle his fastball in that league, if it was what he leaned on a lot.

        I still think he starts in Arizona because he’s going to need to be eased back into things and that’s just easier to do at the complex level. He hasn’t pitched other than side sessions since early April. That’s a long time to sit out and then just jump into games against the likes that Billings will be playing against versus the guys the AZL Reds will be.

  8. Brad

    An OF of White, Fairchild and Gordon will cover some serious ground with 3 CF. Much like Dayton. Add infield of Downs, Garcia and Case next season at Dayton. Redlegs have different units that are intriguing to me and spaced out well.

    I’m a big fan of Mondile. Impressed at ST. Throws a lot of strikes and keeps ball down.

    • The Duke

      Put on 30 lbs too. Be interesting to see how long into starts he holds that 92-94 and what he tops out at.

  9. Brad

    Any word on Zac Correll? Threw well in Billings last year, not on this year’s roster. Headed to Dayton or injured?

    • Doug Gray

      Not sure, honestly. He was a name that was missing that I expected to see. If he’s not on the AZL roster later this week, I’ll check in and see.

      • Doug Gray

        I actually got an update on him that he’s injured and has been most of the spring. Didn’t see what the injury was – will check on it the next time I talk with someone.

  10. Brad

    Gutierrez no longer on Daytona roster. If moving to Pensacola, the AAA and AA rotations are absolutely loaded with arm talent.

    AAA: Reed, Stephenson, Stephens, Romano, Mahle (R. Davis, Ross)
    AA: Gutierrez, Mella, Lopez, Mcguire, Castillo (Travieso)

    • Doug Gray

      Gutierrez is “on” the Billings roster right now. Paper move to create a roster spot. He’s scheduled to start in the double header later today.

      • Steve

        Gutierrez is actually not listed on Billings roster and is in transaction limbo.

      • Doug Gray

        According to the transaction wire, he still hasn’t been removed from the roster, though it’s absolutely coming. He’s scheduled to start for Daytona in a few hours.