Results tagged ‘ Albuquerque Isotopes ’

Russ Mitchell Clears Waivers, Outrighted to Isotopes

Call it an early birthday present for Russ Mitchell, who turns 27 on February 15. After being placed on assignment last Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers utility infielder has cleared waivers and will return to the Dodgers Organization in 2012. The reigning defensive player of the year for Triple-A Albuquerque will be invited to camp to compete for a roster spot with LAD, but has been outrighted to the Isotopes as of this week.

Mitchell, 26, was not claimed on waivers by any of the 30 MLB clubs during the two business day signing period. He will remain on the roster list for now, and likely will serve as depth for the Dodgers while beginning a third consecutive stint with the Isotopes. Mitchell’s 2011 season ended with wrist surgery on September 27 to repair torn cartilage, and he is still progressing towards a full recovery.

Fans most commonly know Mitchell as an all-around utility fielder for the Albuquerque Isotopes. In 92 games last season with the ‘Topes, he made appearances at first, third, left and right, recording 22 errorless games at first base. Overall, Mitchell committed only seven errors in 352 defensive chances during the 2011 campaign.  The nine-season veteran has also begun developing his catching skills to increase his versatility for the Dodgers.

At the plate, Mitchell posted a very unique stat line for Los Angeles in 2011, making 43 outs in 58 at-bats, but smacking four homeruns with his 15 hits. At the Triple-A level, he hit .315 and .283 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, slugging over .500 in both seasons. Mitchell currently holds Isotopes batting records for most runs scored in a game (4), most walks in a game (6) and most consecutive at-bats with a hit (8).

With increased plate discipline, an even wider skill set in the field and a little luck, Russ Mitchell may see more and more time at the major league level.  And while Isotopes fans would hate to see him go, it seems a safe bet to know exactly what Mitchell will be wishing for Wednesday.

New ‘Topes manager: “We’re going to be aggressive”

As he becomes the fourth manager in the franchise’s history, new Albuquerque Isotopes skipper Lorenzo Bundy will be looking to implement a more wide-open style of play that’s built on speed and fundamentals.

In his first meeting with the local press earlier today at Isotopes Park, Bundy talked about a ‘Topes team that will “push the button” whenever the opportunity comes.

“Offensively, if you look at some of the names that are projected to be on our ball club, you’re probably going to see something you haven’t seen in Albuquerque in a while — there’s going to be a lot of speed,” he said. 

“…We’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to push the button and we’re going to go first to third. We’re going to make [other] teams [have to] execute defensively and put the pressure on them.”

Bundy, 51, is entering his tenth season of managing in the minors. Last season, he coached the Dodgers’ rookie-level squad in the Arizona League to a 30-25 record.

He has solid experience with the Pacific Coast League, having managed the Las Vegas 51s in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, he served as the hitting instructor for the Tucson Sidewinders as they captured the PCL title and Triple-A National Championship. His help was critical to the Sidewinders’ success that year as they boasted a .289 batting average, tops in the league for team batting average.

Bundy brought along his Triple-A title ring for today’s conference, which might come in handy as motivation for his new players — especially with Isotopes Park playing host to this year’s national championship on Sept. 20.

“This is a different team [than the Sidewinders], but I look at this team right here and — you
know, you’ve got injuries, you’ve got call-ups, you’ve got trades,
you’ve got everything and anything that goes on in baseball happening at
this level. On April 4 or 5, we have no idea who’s going to be in this
clubhouse come September. But hopefully, two weeks from then, we can be
playing a home game here in Albuquerque and that would be fun. That
would be really, really fun.”

“We know what it’s all about,” he continued as he showed off his ring. “We’ve been there and this is the reward, so maybe I can use that to pump some guys up a little bit.”

In addition, he plans on adopting a more vocal nature of managing, which may also serve to boost the ‘Topes in 2011.

“This club’s pretty young,” he said. “We’ve got some guys coming up from Double-A that have never been here before at the Triple-A level. There might be a tendency for me to be a little more vocal, a little bit more hands-on than you would be with a veteran Triple-A club with guys that have been in Triple-A for four or five years.”

That being said, he’s looking forward to coaching a younger ‘Topes squad in a city that he has fond memories of dating back to his playing days.

“As a visitor, I’ve had some memorable moments in your beautiful stadium,” he said. “Being an offensive player in my playing days, it was always fun to come here because you knew you would get some hits and you would hit some home runs. The question is, ‘How many are you going to give up?’

“Now I’m going to be here for 72 games here at home, so we’re going to see if we can keep the other guys down.”

— Chris Estrada 

New 'Topes manager: "We're going to be aggressive"

As he becomes the fourth manager in the franchise’s history, new Albuquerque Isotopes skipper Lorenzo Bundy will be looking to implement a more wide-open style of play that’s built on speed and fundamentals.

In his first meeting with the local press earlier today at Isotopes Park, Bundy talked about a ‘Topes team that will “push the button” whenever the opportunity comes.

“Offensively, if you look at some of the names that are projected to be on our ball club, you’re probably going to see something you haven’t seen in Albuquerque in a while — there’s going to be a lot of speed,” he said. 

“…We’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to push the button and we’re going to go first to third. We’re going to make [other] teams [have to] execute defensively and put the pressure on them.”

Bundy, 51, is entering his tenth season of managing in the minors. Last season, he coached the Dodgers’ rookie-level squad in the Arizona League to a 30-25 record.

He has solid experience with the Pacific Coast League, having managed the Las Vegas 51s in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, he served as the hitting instructor for the Tucson Sidewinders as they captured the PCL title and Triple-A National Championship. His help was critical to the Sidewinders’ success that year as they boasted a .289 batting average, tops in the league for team batting average.

Bundy brought along his Triple-A title ring for today’s conference, which might come in handy as motivation for his new players — especially with Isotopes Park playing host to this year’s national championship on Sept. 20.

“This is a different team [than the Sidewinders], but I look at this team right here and — you
know, you’ve got injuries, you’ve got call-ups, you’ve got trades,
you’ve got everything and anything that goes on in baseball happening at
this level. On April 4 or 5, we have no idea who’s going to be in this
clubhouse come September. But hopefully, two weeks from then, we can be
playing a home game here in Albuquerque and that would be fun. That
would be really, really fun.”

“We know what it’s all about,” he continued as he showed off his ring. “We’ve been there and this is the reward, so maybe I can use that to pump some guys up a little bit.”

In addition, he plans on adopting a more vocal nature of managing, which may also serve to boost the ‘Topes in 2011.

“This club’s pretty young,” he said. “We’ve got some guys coming up from Double-A that have never been here before at the Triple-A level. There might be a tendency for me to be a little more vocal, a little bit more hands-on than you would be with a veteran Triple-A club with guys that have been in Triple-A for four or five years.”

That being said, he’s looking forward to coaching a younger ‘Topes squad in a city that he has fond memories of dating back to his playing days.

“As a visitor, I’ve had some memorable moments in your beautiful stadium,” he said. “Being an offensive player in my playing days, it was always fun to come here because you knew you would get some hits and you would hit some home runs. The question is, ‘How many are you going to give up?’

“Now I’m going to be here for 72 games here at home, so we’re going to see if we can keep the other guys down.”

— Chris Estrada