Opening Day Dores

Vanderbilt well represented as MLB season gets underway

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nine former Vanderbilt student-athletes are represented on Major League Baseball 30-man opening day rosters as the shortened 60-game season gets underway Thursday.

Commodores on opening day rosters include:

  • Walker Buehler (L.A. Dodgers)
  • Curt Casali (Cincinnati)
  • Sonny Gray (Cincinnati)
  • Tony Kemp (Oakland)
  • Mike Minor (Texas)
  • Bryan Reynolds (Pittsburgh)
  • Dansby Swanson (Atlanta)
  • Kyle Wright (Atlanta)
  • Mike Yastrzemski (San Francisco)

Active rosters will trim down to 28 players after two weeks, then to the final 26-man active roster two weeks later. All players added to teams’ 40-man or active rosters must first be on 60-man player pools.

Vanderbilt will have a strong presence in Cincinnati with four representatives including Gray, who is tabbed as the Reds’ opening day starter. In addition to Casali, former Vanderbilt pitching coach Derek Johnson serves in the same capacity with the Reds and former Commodore hurler Caleb Cotham serves as assistant pitching coach.

A trio of starting pitchers – Buehler, Gray and Minor – will look to continue their string of success after being named 2019 MLB All-Stars. Outfielders Yastrzemski and Reynolds burst on to the scene a season ago and look to carry that momentum into their second seasons.

Swanson enters his fourth full season with the Braves. The shortstop posted a career high in hits (121), runs (77), total bases (204), home runs (17) and doubles (26) in 2019. Wright enters the year with 12 career appearances including four starts – all a season ago.

Kemp heads into his first season with the Athletics after being traded in January. The Franklin, Tennessee, native split time between Houston and the Chicago Cubs a season ago, collecting a combined 52 hits alongside 93 total bases.

Other roster notables

  • Tyler Beede (San Francisco) begins his season on the Giants 60-day injured list.
  • Philip Pfeifer (Atlanta), who was part of the Braves’ 60-man player pool, is on the 45-day injured list.
  • David Price (L.A. Dodgers) opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Carson Fulmer was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.