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Play ball! 4 former Kelowna Falcons on MLB opening day rosters

MLB season begins today - Thursday, Mar. 28

Today is opening day for MLB and four former Kelowna Falcons are on opening day rosters.

Left-handed pitcher and Ladner, B.C. native James Paxton is opening the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, his first year with the team. In 2007 for the Falcons, Paxton made 11 appearances, striking out 62 batters over 70.1 innings. He finished that season with a 2.74 ERA.

Relief pitcher Phil Maton is entering his eighth major league season and first with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2021, he became the first former-Falcon to make it to the World Series while the next year, he became the first to win the World Series.

Back in 2012, he threw 39.1 innings over 11 appearances, striking out 42 batters for the Falcons. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 20th round in 2015.

Outfielder Connor Joe is on the Pittsburgh Pirates opening day roster for the second consecutive season. The now 31-year old played for the Falcons in 2011 after graduating high school. He batted .273 with six RBIs that season. In 2014, Joe was drafted in the first round by the Pirates.

Right-handed pitcher Riley O’Brien has made the St. Louis Cardinals roster after posting some of the best numbers across the entire league in Spring Training. In 10 appearances in the preseason, the Seattle native allowed just one run in 10 innings, striking out eight batters and earning a save. He made appearances for the Cincinnati Reds in 2021 and Seattle Mariners in 2022.

In 2014, O’Brien appeared in just one game for the Falcons.

The Kelowna Falcons open their 2024 season at Elks Stadium on Friday, May 31 as they welcome the Nanaimo NightOwls to town.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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