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Opening Week MiLB Recap: MiLB Players Officially Join MLBPA, Opening Week, Ronnie Gajownik Makes History For Hillsboro

Ronnie Gajownik becomes just the second woman to manage in affiliated baseball

Hillsboro Hops against the Tri-City Dust Devils game Photo by Jared Ravich/MLB Photos via Getty Images

I won't be doing individual game recaps like in prior years on the 'Pit, nor will I be able to provide more than a weekly update on the action happening in the farm system. If you're looking for that, I'd suggest you go check out Michael McDermott's work here. Michael and I also recently launched a Dbacks farm system focused podcast and youtube channel, Baby Backs Banter. There's already quite a bit of content to check out, but the biggest news is that starting this upcoming Monday, that we'll be switching to a weekly format and schedule. (Go check it out, like, subscribe, & leave a comment)

So WHAT is this going to be anyway, and what will I be doing? I'll be doing my best to curate all the best content related to the Diamondbacks farm system, highlighting interesting prospects+ noteworthy performances, and giving updates on injuries or whatever other news comes up. On occasion you'll see long form interviews like the one I did with Kevin DiDomenico, or other random articles that may only be tangentially related to Minor League baseball. This week is very bare-bones, but in the future I'll include a section with stats for the previous week, highlighting the top performances from Diamondbacks Prospects.

News and Headlines

As you probably already know, the biggest news all offseason involving minor league baseball has been the Minor League players joining the MLB Players Union. The big news is that with the owners voting 30-0, its official. They won't receive wages or benefits nearly as good as those of Major Leaguers, but what they got is a great starting point, that is a significant improvement to what they received in the past. As a side effect of the greatly improved conditions, this will help more undrafted and late round fringe players make it to the major leagues. In the past, if you didn't receive a large signing bonus, the low wages and conditions faced by minor leaguers was often a deciding factor in not making it to the Major Leagues.

In related news, after nine years of litigation, a U.S. Federal Judge has approved a $185m settlement in a lawsuit Minor League Baseball Players had filed against Major League Baseball for violating federal minimum wage laws.

Farm reports

The AAA Reno Aces just won their Opening Weekend series 2-1 against the Las Vegas Aviators. The Aces beat up the Aviators 13-9 to start the season last Friday, then beatup the Aviators 15-10 on Saturday. The Aviators took the final game of the series Sunday, hitting seven home runs off Aces pitching, including four off of starter Brandon Pfaadt. The Aces then hit the road to face the Tacoma Rainers this week, losing the first game of the series 12-5, and then the offense completely cooled with the Aces losing the second game of the series 12-0. Yesterday's game was postponed due to weather, but will be made up today with a double header.

The AA level Amarillo Sod Poodles, A+ level Hillsboro Hops, and A level Visalia Rawhide all played their first games of the season last night. But we'll lead with Hillsboro Hops, since Ronnie Gajownik made her debut as the Hops new manager, becoming only second woman to manage in affiliated baseball. It's unfortunate that Hops ended up losing 9-2 to the Tri-City Dust Devils, but it's still cool to see history made.

Jordan Lawler and Adrian Del Castillo homered for the Amarillo Sod Poodles in a 12-4 loss to the Frisco RoughRiders

Dru Jones made his Minor League debut for the Visalia Rawhide, who unfortunately were shutout and blownout by the Lake Elsinore Storm in a 17-0 loss. The Rawhide collected just three hits, with Jones going 0-3 with a walk.