Lots of interesting Pacific Coast League news, so let’s get to it.
The Tucson Padres will have a new home in 2014: El Paso. They will also have a new stadium. Ground was broken on the new facility last week. The team, which will be more than 700 miles away, will remain the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The new team name has not been decided. The new owners are believed to be considering a contest fans can participate in to come up with the new name.
Kila Ka’aihue, the league leader in home runs (16) and RBIs (50), exercised an out clause in his contract and was released by the Diamondbacks. He is now eligible to sign elsewhere. A few days later, the Diamondbacks resigned Mike Jacobs to a minor league contract and assigned him to Reno, where he played last season for the league champions. Jacobs was in camp this spring with the Seattle Mariners.
Kansas City signed Chase Lambin and assigned him to Omaha. He was playing for the Sugar Land Skeeters in an independent league where Gary Gaetti was his manager. Does anybody else have the sudden urge to sing "Skeeters and the Bedbugs"?
The Wall Street Journal ran a story recently about the Las Vegas 51s entitled, "Las Vegas: The Mets’ Minor Disaster," that opens with this lead: "For Mets minor leaguers, the last stop before the majors is a dilapidated ballpark 2,200 miles away from Citi Field." It doesn’t get much better after that. [Hat tip to Minda Haas for the story]
The 51s are the hottest team in the PCL right now. They are 9-1 over their last 10 games and have won seven straight.
Several teams share the honor of being the league’s coldest. The Omaha Storm Chasers, Reno Aces and Fresno Grizzlies are 2-8 over their past 10 games. Reno has lost seven straight.
Nashville closer Rob Wooten did an interview with The Tennessean in which he said country is his favorite music. Sounds like he’s in the right city. He also said Jason Heyward has his number. "I have faced him twice, and he has two dingers off of me," he said in the story.
The Sacramento River Cats have a bobblehead promotion going on this season that will honor nine of the greatest players in team history, as determined by a fan vote. The team will give away a Kurt Suzuki bobblehead on June 16. He was voted the greatest catcher in team history.
Voting for the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno on July 17 has begun. You can cast your vote here. Everyone who votes receives a free preview pass for MiLB.TV.
The Colorado Springs Sky Sox lead the league with a .296 team average. And not surprisingly, given their number of high quality pitching prospects, the Memphis Redbirds lead the league with a 3.78 team ERA.
For a complete list of league transactions, click here.