The TinCaps have said goodbye to four team members who were traded by the Padres organization in the 36 hours or so before Tuesday's deadline.
Fort Wayne is hoping to receive reinforcements within the next few days, but that still left the dugout pretty bare on Tuesday night.
Max Ferguson was originally supposed to start at second base on Tuesday – he was in the lineup published at 5:05 p.m., 55 minutes before the trade deadline – but was part of a last-minute deal that sent him to the Red Sox organization. That left Anthony Vilar, who had been a catcher and DH for the TinCaps, to fill in at second. (Vilar did play both second and shortstop during his college years at Miami.)
Corey Rosier was also part of the late trade, which lead to a reshuffling of the outfield spots and allowed Adam Kerner to enter the lineup as a DH. He would account for one of Fort Wayne's three RBI. That shuffling came after the TinCaps had already accounted for the loss of Robert Hassell III, who was part of a deal for Washington's Juan Soto.
"As far as the three position players going today, who were supposed to be in the lineup, that's what this game is about. People call it a game of luck, I call it a game of opportunity. Three other guys had an opportunity who wouldn't usually be in the lineup today," manager Brian Esposito said. "That's what we do here, everybody needs an opportunity to be put in a position."
Vilar did have an error, along with Jarryd Dale, playing shortstop as usual.
"You had a guy playing the infield for the first time all season long, a catcher," Esposito said, emphasizing the challenge of switching positions at this point in the season.
But it is also challenging for a team to perform at its best after going through a stressful day in which several friends and team leaders had to say goodbye.
"A lot of these guys have long-standing relationships with each other. Some of them are brand-new, but some of them have been here for a little bit," Esposito said. "You get to know these guys, they're in the clubhouse one minute, and they're going somewhere else the next. For them, to be able to go out and compete and make it a close ball game, I think they handled it just fine."