Nine players on the roster – right-handers Josh Geer, Neil Jamison, and Joel Santo, left-hander Fabian Jimenez, catcher Nick Hundley, along with outfielders Josh Alley, Mike Baxter and Drew Davidson – all appeared with the Wizards during the 2005 season.
The starting rotation is expected to include Jimenez, Geer, Stevie Delabar, Ben Krosschell and Grant Varnell. Krosschell, who hails from Colorado, has been compared to former Wizards pitcher Sean Thompson.
Fort Wayne will be led on the field by third-year manager Randy Ready, a veteran of 13 seasons in the major leagues, who has led the Wizards to back-to-back appearances in the Midwest League playoffs. He enters the 2006 season eight wins shy of the club record for a Wizards manager.
Former major leaguer Max Venable returns as the hitting coach and will be joined in Fort Wayne by his son, outfielder Will Venable. Will, who attended Princeton, was the basketball team's Most Valuable Player for two consecutive seasons. Tom Bradley, who served as the pitching coach for the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) last season, will fill the same role for the Wizards this year.
The Wizards begin the season with a two-game road trip against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate) on Thursday, April 6. Fort Wayne opens the 2006 home portion of the schedule against the Whitecaps at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.
Fans can meet the newest Wizards at the annual "Meet the Team" night beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. The new 2006 Wizards players and coaches will be available for autographs, photographs and interviews.