MISSOULA — The 2019 Missoula Osprey rolled into town a couple of days ago, and now the season starts Friday with a new man in charge.
Juan Francia will be the manager for the Osprey. He starts his fourth season with the Diamondbacks’ organization but his first in the United States after previously working in the Dominican Republic.
“I would like to teach them the right way to play this game, because I went through all of this,” Francia said. “I know how it feels, I know when you go into the clubhouse, sharing knowledge with teammates and coaches and all of that. I really like that, you know? It feels good when you talk to those young players on the field and they do it. It’s a good feeling, you know?”
While the coach may be new, it’s quite the opposite for the roster.
Typically with any rookie ball team, you can expect to see a wave of new faces each year. However, in 2019 the Osprey will have a team that will see 12 guys who played in Missoula last year.
All in all, those 12 guys have combined for 24 seasons of experience in the Diamondbacks’ system.
Ahead of the 2019 season opener, one of the veteran pitchers is making sure the team, and especially the rookies, are in a good spot.
“Let them know what is the right way, what is the wrong way,” Edgar Martinez said. “Doing good stuff, being kind of like an example for them what I have lived a couple of years ago. They are living it this year, so I’m kind of like a teacher for them. I think that will help us a lot, because we know each other, we’ve been playing at least two years together. So we have a good clubhouse. Everybody knows each other well. I think we are going to do good stuff on the field.”