Amid chilly home opener, Gardenhire, Saints optimistic for new season

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Toby Gardenhire has had to wait a couple extra days for the first home game of his third season as manager of the St. Paul Saints. Minnesota’s extended and seemingly never-ending Winter of 2022-23 forced postponements the first two nights of scheduled openers. Thursday’s eventual opener was also shifted from an evening start to mid-afternoon to capitalize on daylight.

Nonetheless, Gardenhire is eager to play in front of a CHS Field crowd after opening the season with two wins and a loss in Toledo last week.

The Saints opening day roster is loaded with pitching. Depth in the Twins organization has MLB veterans like Randy Dobnak, Bailey Ober and Trevor Megill pitching alongside other players on the verge of breaking out – like Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Balazovic and St. Paul’s-own Louie Varland.

Among the position players who may be approaching the ten-mile move to Target Field are infielders Edouard Julien and Austin Martin, and Forest Lake native / outfielder Matt Wallner.

Last year’s 1st-round draft pick Brooks Lee is at AA Wichita, but should be in St Paul by the end of the season.

Click the video box on this page to watch KSTP Sports’ pre-Home Opener interviews with St Paul Saints manager Toby Gardenhire and pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson discussing playing in cold weather, the team’s outlook for the season and Woods Richardson’s own personal outlook for 2023