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Sports >  Spokane Indians

Spokane Indians pregame: Manager Scott Little thinks ‘these kids are ready to go’

UPDATED: Fri., April 8, 2022

The Spokane Indians haven’t played baseball in April since 1982 when they were a Triple-A affiliate of the then-California Angels.

With the move to full-season High-A and no COVID restrictions or delays at the start, the Indians embarked on a 132-game schedule with 66 home dates on Friday when they hosted the Vancouver Canadians at Avista Stadium.

Manager Scott Little, back for his second season in Spokane, was ready to go.

“I’m really excited,” he said on Friday as players came off the field after batting practice. “I’m curious to see what we have.”

Little starts his 20th season as a minor league manager or coach and didn’t overlook the importance of opening day.

“Of course – it’s baseball,” he said. “I get nervous. Not nervous, but excited when big league season opens or just in general, because I love baseball. It’s exciting. And I’m excited for the kids.”

Little tried to catch as much of MLB’s opening day activities as much as possible the last couple of days.

“It’s about the only thing worth watching on TV,” he said. “There’s been quite a few (games) on. Between that and the Masters, that’s all I’ve been watching.”

Early April weather can be a bit of a question mark for outdoor activities. Game time temperatures in the area were mid-50s with stiff breezes. Little said Indians starter Will Ethridge wouldn’t be limited either for early season pitch court or the weather.

“Not if he uses pitches right,” Little said. “If he’s efficient the weather, the wind, all this stuff won’t affect that. It’s whether or not he’s getting the job done.”

The Indians have a dozen or so players up from last year’s successful Low-A Fresno (California) Grizzlies, including the Colorado Rockies’ top two prospects, outfielder Zac Veen and catcher Drew Romo. Little said there wouldn’t be any big pregame speech.

“I’m not gonna fire anybody up,” he said. “I think these kids are ready to go. I think we got a group that you don’t need to inspire. I think they’re excited and they want to play baseball.

“They played a lot of games together last year, and they had some success, so hopefully we can do the same thing here.”

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