Happy New Year!

2012 has arrived, and before you know it, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training. We’re starting to get a clearer picture of the players who will be heading to Marlins camp; yesterday, it was announced Metairie native Chad Gaudin signed a minor-league deal with Miami, so he could be joining fellow hometown hurler Beau Jones on the Zephyrs’ pitching staff.

Miami also re-signed infielder Mike Cervenak, who had a solid 2011 campaign with the Z’s, batting .298 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 123 games.

The Marlins designated right-hander Elih Villanueva for assignment today, making room for Greg Dobbs on the 40-man roster. Villanueva was projected to return to New Orleans to begin the 2012 season, but would now have to clear waivers first.

The annual Evening With The Zephyrs cocktail reception is fast approaching – just three weeks from tonight! As is becoming tradition, the first member of the year’s class for the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame will be inducted, and this year it will be former Zephyrs pitcher Brad Lidge. Also in attendance will be Marlins VP of Player Development (and former Zephyrs manager) Marty Scott, new Zephyrs manager Ron Hassey, as well as other special guests. Tickets are available now for $35 each or four for $120 by calling the Zephyrs at (504) 734-5155.

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