For the first time since the 1980s, the California League is fielding only eight teams. President Charlie Blaney says the contraction of two teams has made the league more stable than ever.
The California League opens Thursday with a full four-game slate. Brendan Rodgers (Rockies) and Walker Buehler (Dodgers) are among those expected to start the year on the circuit.
Palm Beach and Jupiter of the Florida State League share a park in Roger Dean Stadium, one of the Minors' most pitcher-friendly venues in a circuit already tilted toward those on the mound.
The California League will be undergoing some changes heading into next season, but the circuit announced its Executive Award winners on Sept. 28 to put a bow on 2016.
The end of each even-numbered season spawns a familiar ritual as Minor and Major League clubs seek new affiliation partners. Ben Hill surveys the myriad changes that have occurred.
In its final game, High Desert completed a three-game sweep and won its first California League championship since 1997 as Juremi Profar capped a five-run sixth with a two-run single.
Inside the Cal League
More from the California League