SERIES PREVIEW: DOGS SET TO OPEN 2019 CAMPAIGN VS. GARY
RailCats (0-0) vs. Dogs (0-0)
Friday, 5/17: LHP Lars Liguori (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP D.J. Snelten (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Saturday, 5/18: RHP Christian De Leon vs. LHP Luke Westphal (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday, 5/19: LHP Trevor Lubking vs. RHP Trevor Simms (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
SERIES NOTES: May 17-19 vs. GAR
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Chicago Dogs are set to open their 2019 season — the second in franchise history — with a three-game series against the Gary SouthShore RailCats this weekend at Impact Field. Game starts are 7:05 PM on Friday, May 17, 7:05 PM on Saturday May, 18 and 1:05 PM on Sunday, May 19.
Friday night will mark a historic Opening Night in Rosemont. The Dogs announced they will pursue the world record for the “world’s largest gathering of wieners in one location” during the home opener. Every fan in attendance will receive a commemorative hot dog costume courtesy of Vienna Beef. Additionally, NHL Hall of Famer and former Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios is scheduled to throw out the first pitch. Tickets are officially sold out, but fans can still guarantee seats with the purchase of a season ticket mini-plan.
Butch Hobson will manage the Dogs for his second season alongside hitting coach D.J. Boston, who played in professional baseball for 16 seasons, and first-year Dogs pitching coach Cory Domel.
The Dogs will welcome back some of the team’s top performers from last season to the 2019 squad. Edwin Arroyo, who led the team in batting average (.325), hits (118) and walks (39), is back for a second season. Joining him is Trey Vavra, Chicago’s 2018 top slugger. The Menomonie, WI native belted a team-high 16 home runs and drove in 65 runs. His 23 doubles also paced the Dogs.
On the mound, Rich Mascheri also makes his return to Impact Field. The Western Illinois alum paced the bullpen with a 2.34 ERA and also struck out 63 batters. Brandon Shimo, who appeared in 34 games with a 2.44 ERA, and Josh Goossen-Brown, who led the Dogs in innings pitched (116.2), wins (7) and starts (20), will again pitch in Rosemont.
Several newcomers will round out the Dogs’ roster. The franchise made national headlines in April when they signed three-time MLB All-Star Carlos Zambrano. The Venezuela native, known as “Big Z,” enjoyed a fruitful major league career, which featured an 11-year tenure with the Chicago Cubs and one year with the Miami Marlins. He now makes his return to American professional baseball after launching his comeback in the Mexican League and Venezuelan Winter League.
In addition to Zambrano, newcomers D.J. Snelten and Casey Crosby have gotten a taste of the big leagues. Snelten appeared in four games in 2018 for the San Francisco Giants, while Crosby logged 12.1 innings for the Detroit Tigers back in 2012.
The Dogs roster also boasts two former first-round MLB draft selections: Keon Barnum, drafted 48th overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2012, and Victor Roache, drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers 28th overall in 2012 following a breakout season at Georgia Southern University, where he led the NCAA in home runs with 30.
SCOUTING THE RAILCATS
The Dogs won six games last year against Gary, which included three each at home and on the road. Greg Tagert returns to Gary in 2019 for his 15th season (25th overall) as the team’s manager. The RailCats, who claimed the North Division Title, return their two leading home-run sluggers from last season: infielder Randy Santiesteban and outfielder Colin Willis. On the mound, Lars Liguori returns following a productive 2018 campaign, in which he compiled a 3.52 ERA and 45 strikeouts over 94.2 innings.
Team broadcasters Sam Brief and Henrique DaMour will have the live game call all season long. Fans can tune in to The Chicago Dogs Baseball Network to watch every Dogs home game. For more updates, follow @TheChicagoDogs on social media and use the hashtag #TakeABite.