Full Speed Ahead
The last few weeks leading up to the season always seems to feel like the Star Wars movies whenever anybody makes the jump to hyperspace. Everything starts coming at you very fast. In just two weeks the Isotopes will begin their seventh season and first as Triple-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As you’d imagine, the excitement for the new year has been ratcheted up quite a bit. If you haven’t already, make plans to join us for Opening Day on April 9, for the beginning of a new era of Albuquerque baseball.
With two weeks to go, the ‘Topes’ roster is also starting to take shape at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. This week six players who could very well be Isotopes on April 9 were reassigned to Minor League camp, including ’Topes’ fan-favorite Valentino Pascucci. While the prospect of seeing the “Italian Bazooka” deposit baseballs over the scoreboard at Isotopes Park is great, Pascucci was having a terrific spring in big league camp and the fact he won’t be starting the season in L.A. is a little bit bittersweet. In 12 games with the Dodgers this spring, Pascucci batted .429 (9×21) with three doubles, three homers (tied for second most on the team) and 10 RBI. Hopefully after another stellar season with the Isotopes, Pascucci will get another chance at cracking the big league roster.
Other players to be reassigned were INF Hector Luna, OF Mitch Jones, RHPs Nick DeBarr and Charlie Haeger and LHP Stephen Randolph. Jones led the Dodgers with four home runs when he was in big league camp, so there’s a good chance the Isotopes’ lineup will have plenty of pop.
There is still much to be determined, so be sure to check back here as the 2009 ‘Topes roster takes shape!