'Topes Spring Training Slate Revealed

The Isotopes’ 2010 Spring Training schedule has been released and features a 16-game slate that begins with a battle against the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona on Friday, March 19. 

Click here for the complete schedule.

The Reds are the latest team to pick-up Spring Training stakes in Florida and head to the Valley of the Sun, where they are sharing a facility with intra-state rival Cleveland in Goodyear, Arizona. Prior to moving, the Reds has spent the previous 12 years training in Sarasota, Florida. The Isotopes will play the Bats six times this spring, more than any other team.

In other news from Dodgers camp, if you’re hoping Jeff Weaver and Brian Giles will start the season as Isotopes, don’t.  Both Weaver and Giles have stated (Weaver more definitively) that they have no interest in returning to Triple-A and would most likely retire if they didn’t make the Dodgers.  Weaver, of course, started the 2009 season in Albuquerque before quickly getting called up to Los Angeles on April 30, where he was a versatile component on the Dodgers’ pitching staff, pitching effectively out of the bullpen and in the rotation.  Weaver went 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA in five games (one start) for Albuquerque and 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 games (seven starts) for Los Angeles.  

The fifth-starter sweepstakes has also begun at Camelback Ranch with Eric Stults getting the first chance.  According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Stults will start the spring in the rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Vicente Padilla.  Last year, Stults opened the year with Albuquerque and spent one day here before getting called up and going 4-3 with a 4.86 ERA in 10 starts for Los Angeles.  Stults’s season was derailed on May 15, however, when he sprained his left thumb against Florida.  After a stay on the DL, the left-hander was optioned back to Albuquerque, where he finished the year going 5-4 with a 5.20 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts). 

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