Parent Club: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball, and they have plenty of young talent throughout the system. The Isotopes roster is no different.
The pitching staff in Albuquerque will probably not put up great numbers as the team plays at one of the best hitter’s parks in Minor League Baseball. Don’t let the numbers fool you, there are plenty of quality arms to go around. Stephen Fife, Matt Magill, Zach Lee highlight the starting rotation while Daniel Moskos and Yimi Garcia sit in the bullpen.
Fife and Magill both have big league experience, with Fife having success while Magill struggled in his brief sting in the bigs in 2013. Both look to be guys that can fit into the back of a rotation for many years, Zach Lee could be a potential number three starter. Lee had a solid spring, earning himself the start against Team Australia down in Sydney, but will start the season at Triple-A.
Not yet listed on the roster, but expected to begin the year with the Isotopes, is Alexander Guerrero. Guerrero is a Cuban second baseman signed this off-season and was expected to be the starter opening day. He struggled both offensively and defensively this spring, but I liked what I saw from him. Big league pitchers may be able to keep him off-balance, but he has good, fluid movement when turning the double play and I could see him being an above-average defender in time.
With Matt Kemp coming off the DL on Friday, Mike Baxter was sent down to Triple-A, making the Isotopes outfield as full as the one in Los Angeles. Baxter joins Nick “Chili” Buss, Trayvon Robinson, and Joc Pederson in the outfield down in Triple-A. Robinson flashed to tools that once made him a top prospect this spring, but his overall skills with the bat will probably prevent him from ever being a big league regular. On just about any other team, Pederson would be a big league starter today, but instead he sits in Triple-A while there are four All-Star caliber outfielders blocking his way to the big leagues. Time in the minors is not all bad though, as he still appeared raw when I saw him this spring and could use a bit more maturing at the plate.
The Isotopes will also start the season with the man affectionately known as “Fed-Ex”, Tim Federowicz, but will probably bounce between New Mexico and Los Angeles until he runs out of options.