Four Bulldogs on Opening Day rosters

Opponents hit just .141 against Kendall Graveman in spring training. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Opponents hit just .141 against Kendall Graveman in spring training. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Four former Mississippi State players begin the year on Opening Day rosters in the Big Leagues while three others represent the Diamond Dogs on MLB coaching staffs.

Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon (2001-03) begins his 11th season and has 325 career saves. Papelbon, a five-time All-Star, notched 39 saves last season which was the second-most in his career.

Former Amory standout Mitch Moreland (2005-07) starts his sixth season with the Texas Rangers and is trying to bounce back from a left ankle injury that limited him to just 52 games in 2014. Moreland hit three homers in the spring and will DH and spell Prince Fielder at first base.

Tyler Moore (2008) is in his fourth season with the Washington Nationals and will have a chance to make an impact early playing in place of injured left fielder Jason Werth. Moore hit .305 with eight doubles, a triple, one home run and eight RBI in 59 spring training at bats.

Kendall Graveman (2010-13) was traded to the Oakland Athletics in the offseason and earned a spot in the starting pitching rotation to start the year. This spring the right-hander sported a 3-1 record with a 0.36 ERA, 17 strikeouts and seven walks in 25.1 innings of work. Graveman made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays late last season.

Buck Showalter (1977) starts his sixth season as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Last season, Showalter guided the Orioles to the AL East pennant and won his third AL Manager of the Year award.

Chris Maloney (1982-83) began his fourth season as the first base coach for the St. Louis Cardinals while Bobby Thigpen (1984-85) returns for his third season as bullpen coach for the Chicago White Sox.

Additionally, former MSU signees Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati Reds) and Corey Dickerson (Colorado Rockies) are also in Opening Day starting lineups.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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