Team, baseball community discuss possible changes coming for Wichita Wind Surge

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 4:52 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita’s new Riverfront Stadium is the current home of a Triple-A affiliate with the Miami Marlins organization. Rumors say the distinction for the Wichita Wind Surge could change with a possible move from Triple-A to Double-A.

On Monday (Nov. 30), Wichita Wind Surge Vice President and General Manager Jared Forma said he doesn’t know of any changes, but he’s hoping to know something as soon as this week. He said he thought he would’ve known by now, but he’s waiting to hear if Major League Baseball will make changes to the team’s affiliation. Changes are expected with Minor League Baseball reorganizing under MLB ownership. Projections are that the Wind Surge will be a Double-A franchise in the Minnesota Twins organization. For now, Forma said it’s all just speculation. Previously in Wichita, the Wranglers, a Double-A affiliate for the Kansas City Royals, played at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, a historic venue torn down at the site where the new Riverfront Stadium was constructed last year.

‘I don’t know of any changes yet. All we are aware of is that Major League Baseball, I don’t know if the right word is “taken over,” kind of taken over the minor league operation, bringing all baseball under one umbrella,” Forma said. “We know that there may be some changes coming. We don’t know if we’re one of the teams that will be changed or not from a level, or who we’re affiliated with.”

Wichita State University Assitant Atheltic Director Brent Kemnitz was the pitching coach for Wichita State’s baseball team for nearly four decades. Many players he coached went on to play professionally, including current Shocker pitching coach Mike Pelfrey whose pro playing career included time with the Twins. Familiar with what to expect with skill levels at every level, Kemnitz said if there are changes with the Wind Surge moving from Triple-A to Double-A, it will still be high-quality talent with players capable of getting to the major leagues.

“Major League Baseball has taken over a lot of the minor league operations,” Kemnitz said. “This is new. A lot of people are like, well, we’re promised Triple-A. Well, that was before COVID. That changes rules for a lot of people, so it’s nobody’s fault. It just happened. We’re going to land on our feet. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be good, but the bottom line is we’re going to have quality baseball in Wichita.”

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