For the third consecutive day, bone-chilling temperatures forced the Buffalo Bisons to postpone their Opening Day. It is the longest delay of Opening Day in team history.
Manager Torey Lovullo spent Saturday morning searching for an indoor facility so the team could merely play catch and run bases. Still, there's no way to truly simulate baseball and early-season eagerness has turned into frustration, especially when dealing with the pitching staff.
"We all understood that we were going to get some bad weather, but we were hoping to get one or maybe a doubleheader in," said second baseman Keith Ginter. "We're trying to keep our legs in shape, doing some cardio and hitting in the cage pretty much. But if you can't get outside there isn't much you can do."
The Bisons and visiting Richmond Braves are scheduled for a doubleheader at 1:05 p.m. today at Dunn Tire Park with cool temperatures and snow expected. Thursday and Friday's postponements will be made up when the Bisons play the Braves in Richmond, Va., June 9-12.
In 2003, the Bisons played Opening Day in temperatures in the high 20s and called off the next six games. Temperatures were in the 20s Saturday with the teams scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. doubleheader. The Bisons' last game was in spring training on March 31 and Lovullo said the team could be rusty.
"We're all frustrated here, no doubt," Lovullo said. "We want to get out and play and get the season started and I'm sure Richmond feels the same way. We want to get guys work in the bullpen and get things in line is a tough task. [Pitching coach] Scott Radinsky is beating his head against the wall trying to figure out how to get guys prepped and ready."
Indeed, juggling the pitching rotation is the biggest challenge. Rafael Perez and Sean Smith will start today, meaning Adam Miller's highly anticipated debut probably won't come until Tuesday against Ottawa. Lovullo is more concerned about the rotation over the next four or five days because he could run out of pitchers in the bullpen.
"That's when we will have to play catch up," he said. "At this point, we're trying to figure out what we're going to do next Thursday for Friday."
There's a possibility the Bisons could call up a reliever.
Meanwhile, Herd catcher Mike Rose might be on his way to the parent Cleveland Indians. Indians catcher Victor Martinez, who strained his left quadriceps muscle running out a grounder on Friday, could be placed on the disabled list today. The Bisons have two other catchers in Armando Camacaro and David Wallace.