You can never really call a Double-A baseball team a veteran ballclub, but the 2024 Portland Sea Dogs come close.

Twenty-two of the 29 players on the Opening Day roster spent at least a portion of the 2023 season with the Sea Dogs. For Chad Epperson, entering his third season as manager of the Sea Dogs, having so many familiar faces in the clubhouse is a welcome thing.

“It’s great. You get familiarity with these guys, not only myself, but more importantly for them with the league. Double-A is such a tough league,” Epperson said. “That just gives them a head start, if you will, with what they’re setting out to do. Nothing is going to be out of the ordinary for them.”

The status of this weekend’s opening series against the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field could be impacted by the nor’easter that will hit Maine on Wednesday night and that is expected to last through Friday morning. Forecasts are calling for up to a foot of snow in greater Portland.

Each spring, the Sea Dogs arrive in Maine with the knowledge that they’ll play some cold games, but this April forecast throws a wrinkle into the start of the season.

Portland is scheduled to host Hartford at 6 p.m. Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoon, before a road series next week in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Sea Dogs will be back home April 16 for the start of a series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.


“It was actually my first time seeing snow fall the other day when I was in Boston. That was crazy. This snowstorm coming tonight, we’ll see how it all goes,” said Nick Yorke, who spent all of last season with the Sea Dogs and is a native of Newport Beach, California.

Sea Dogs infielder Nick Yorke fields a ground ball during a workout at Hadlock Field on Wednesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Center fielder Roman Anthony said while he was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, his father is from New York and his mother is from Pennsylvania.

“I’m familiar with cold weather,” Anthony said. “But playing in it or having a game canceled due to snow, I can’t say I’m familiar with that. It should be interesting. I don’t know if I’d trust myself to drive in it. I’ll be interested to see what goes on here this weekend.”

Snow or sunshine, warm or cold, members of the Sea Dogs are all looking to improve and take the next step to Worcester, Boston’s Triple-A affiliate.

Both Anthony and catcher Kyle Teel, rated Boston’s No. 2 and 3 prospects by, got a taste of Double-A at the end of last season and look to build off that small but successful sample size.

“Overall, the talent and consistency is better in Double-A. Just getting a good routine and being ready to play every day is huge,” said Teel, who was drafted 14th overall last year by the Red Sox out of the University of Virginia. “The big thing is working on all aspects of my game. I’m always working on my bat speed.”


Teel, 22, hit .323 in nine games with the Sea Dogs, with one home run and 11 RBI. Teel said he spent his winter in the weight room and batting cage preparing for this season.

“It was a lot of down time, which was probably the most frustrating part for me, because I want to go, go, go all the time,” Teel said.

Sea Dogs pitchers Jacob Webb and Brendan Cellucci jog in the outfield during the team’s workout at Hadlock Field on Wednesday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Anthony spent part of his offseason training with his friend and top Baltimore Orioles prospect Jackson Holliday in Oklahoma. The two became friends when playing for rival middle school teams in Florida. Former National League MVP Cody Bellinger, who now plays for the Chicago Cubs, joined the workouts.

“I’ve gone out there over the last two offseasons now. (Holliday’s) a great friend of mine, and his family is awesome. I give them so much credit to the success I’ve had,” said Anthony, Boston’s second-round pick in 2022.

Anthony, who won’t turn 20 until May 13, began 2023 in Low-A Salem and climbed quickly through the minors, finishing by hitting .343 with a home run and eight RBI and 10 runs in 10 games with the Sea Dogs.

“I took last year as a whole, regardless of what level I was at, and tried to learn as much as I can from the guys in the clubhouse, people who have more experience than me,” Anthony said. “Obviously jumping a couple levels last year, now it’s starting to feel real. I don’t have time to work on just one thing. I have to get better at everything.”


Blaze Jordan joined the Sea Dogs midway through last season. The power hitting corner infielder came to camp this season 20 pounds lighter. Now 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Jordan said he wants to play a more complete game.

“I’m just trying to be a better athlete so I can impact the game in more ways than one, the defensive side and even base running.  That’s the biggest goal for me,” said Jordan, 21. “The biggest thing I learned (last season) is my approach. The pitchers pitch a little different up here. They mix their pitches really well and they spot the ball really well. At the end of the day, it’s just putting the bat on the ball. I’m just going to keep it simple and (take) that same approach in the upcoming year.”

After spending the entire 2023 season in Portland, 2020 first-round pick Yorke is back, and he’ll play some left field as well as second base.

“It’s been going well. I played a couple back-field minor league games out there at the end of spring training, and felt good out there,” said Yorke, 22.

Shortstop Marcelo Mayer, the fourth overall pick in 2021 and Boston’s top prospect, was ill and unable to attend the team’s media availability or the Fan Fest at the Portland Expo on Wednesday night, but is expected to be good to go for the start of the season.

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