While it’s only been a week since the Isotopes were home, it seems like a lot longer, as Albuquerque continues a road trip that has the team playing a dozen away games in 13 days, the ‘Topes’ longest roadie of the season. After tonight’s game at Iowa, the Isotopes will have an early wake-up for their flight Saturday to New Orleans. The bus to the Des Moines airport leaves the ‘Topes’ team hotel at 4:00 AM, meaning that after playing the game, eating, showering, and heading back to the hotel, the team is looking at probably a best case scenario of getting around four hours of sleep before heading to the airport. All PCL teams fly commercial, so that means the team must go through security and deal with all the other hassles and delays that all of us must endure when we travel. So, in order to make sure the team and its equipment make the 6:00 AM flight out of Des Moines, the players must arrive about an hour and a half before it departs. After a change of planes in Chicago, the Isotopes will arrive bleary-eyed in New Orleans around noon, which allows for maybe an hour or two of rest at the hotel before having to be at the ballpark for the 6:00 PM (local time) game. Travel in the PCL is anything but glamorous.
Jeff Weaver will be spared the early wake-up call, as the right hander will start tomorrow’s game against the Zephyrs and will fly to the Big Easy today. The Dodgers want Weaver to get more innings so that he could be a potential long reliever or spot-starter in the Major Leagues should the need arise. Scheduled starter Giancarlo Alvarado will come in after Weaver throws about 60-65 pitches. That means the Isotopes rotation for the New Orleans series is now:
Tomorrow: RHP Jeff Weaver
Sunday: LHP Eric Milton
Monday: RHP Charlie Haeger
Tuesday: LHP Shawn Estes
In the back half of that series, the Isotopes will face a couple of names familiar to Isotopes fans as RHP Dallas Trahern and RHP Daniel Barone will throw on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
It’s also been a week since the last roster move, but that could change shortly. Dodgers.com is reporting that Cory Wade is close to coming back from right shoulder bursitis, which might impact Albuquerque’s roster.
After such an arduous road trip, the ‘Topes are going to need some home cooking, so make your plans now to come out to Isotopes Park when Albuquerque hosts the hated Round Rock Express for a four-game set beginning on April 30.