ISOTOPES ANNOUNCE 2023 COACHING STAFF; PEDRO LOPEZ NAMED MANAGER
The Albuquerque Isotopes, in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, today announced their 2023 coaching staff, including the promotion of Pedro Lopez to manager and the return of Jordan Pacheco as hitting coach. Joining Lopez and Pacheco in the dugout will be Bench Coach Bobby Meacham and Pitching Coach Chris Michalak(pronounced
The Albuquerque Isotopes, in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, today announced their 2023 coaching staff, including the promotion of Pedro Lopez to manager and the return of Jordan Pacheco as hitting coach.
Joining Lopez and Pacheco in the dugout will be Bench Coach Bobby Meacham *and Pitching Coach *Chris Michalak(pronounced muh-HALL-ick.
Lopez, the eighth manager in Isotopes history, begins his third year and third different role with the Isotopes after serving as Albuquerque’s hitting coach in 2021 and bench coach in 2022. The Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, native is entering his 19th year as a Minor League manager and second at the Triple-A level (2017, Las Vegas) after stints in the Texas Rangers (2001-05, 2007) and New York Mets (2011-19) farm systems. Over his 19 seasons at the helm, Lopez has a 979-977 overall record and appeared in seven playoffs, including winning the Double-A Eastern League Championship in 2014 with the Binghamton Mets. As a player, Lopez was drafted in the 21st round by San Diego in the 1988 MLB First-Year Player Draft and played 13 Minor League seasons with the Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros, reaching Triple-A on four occasions.
Meacham joins the Isotopes after serving on the Philadelphia Phillies staff as an assistant coach from 2020-June 2022. This will be Meacham’s third stint with the Rockies organization as he served as the hitting coach for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 1993 and a Minor League infield instructor in 2005. He has spent 10 seasons on Major League coaching staffs with the Florida Marlins (2006), San Diego Padres (2007), Yankees (2008), Houston Astros (2009-12) and Phillies. Meacham has also managed for 13 Minor League seasons, including four years at Triple-A, with the Kansas City Royals (1992), Pittsburgh Pirates (1994-95), Anaheim Angels (2002-04) and Toronto Blue Jays (2013-19). The Los Angeles native was selected 8th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1981 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of San Diego State University, where he helped get Tony Gwynn onto the baseball team. Meacham was then traded to the New York Yankees in 1982 and batted .236 as a shortstop for the Bronx Bombers from 1983-88. Meacham was also the manager on the 1995 Calgary Cannons, whose Public Relations Director was Isotopes General Manager John Traub.
Pacheco, an Albuquerque native, will return for his second season as the Isotopes hitting coach. During Pacheco’s first campaign with Albuquerque, the Isotopes led all of Minor League Baseball in home runs (240) and was second in OPS (.836). The club also hit 14 grand slams in 2022, the most by any MiLB team ever and tied for the most slams in professional baseball history with the 2000 Oakland Athletics and 2006 Cleveland Indians. A 2004 graduate of La Cueva High School, Pacheco then attended the University of New Mexico, where he was one of the most prolific offensive players in school history. He compiled a .384 average with 59 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs and 145 RBI over three seasons from 2005-07 and was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2007. Pacheco was drafted in the 9th round by the Rockies in 2007 and eventually made his Major League debut with Colorado in 2011. His Major League career also included stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014) and Cincinnati Reds (2015-16). Pacheco retired from playing in 2021 and spent the end of that season as an assistant coach with the Grand Junction Rockies (Pioneer League).
Former veteran left-handed pitcher Michalak will serve as Albuquerque’s pitching coach in 2023. This will be Michalak’s fourth stop in the Duke City, as he previously pitched for the Dukes in 2000, followed by stints with the Isotopes in 2004 and 2008. He appeared in 61 Major League games (24 starts) over four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks (1998), Toronto Blue Jays (2001), Texas Rangers (2001-02) and Cincinnati Reds (2006). Michalak’s professional career spanned 17 seasons, as he was a 12th round draft pick by Oakland in 1993. He finished the 2000 campaign with an 11-3 record and 4.26 ERA, leading the Albuquerque Dukes in wins. Michalak started the second-to-last game in Dukes history, giving up two runs in six innings during Game 4 of a PCL first-round playoff series at Memphis on Sept. 9, 2000. Over 26 games (four starts) with the Isotopes in 2004 and 2008, he was 1-4 with a 5.98 ERA while pitching for the Florida Marlins Triple-A affiliate. Michalak retired following the 2009 season and has been in the coaching ranks since, including stops as the pitching coach for the Hagerstown Suns (2010-11), Potomac Nationals (2012-13) and Harrisburg Senators (2014-17). He was the Minor League pitching coordinator for the Miami Marlins from 2018-20 and coached in the Washington Nationals organization from 2021-22.
Trainer Hoshi Mizutani is returning in his same role for a third season in Albuquerque. Mizutani is in his sixth year with the Rockies after serving as the trainer for Hartford (2018-19).
Albuquerque is set to begin its 20th campaign in franchise history on March 31 when it travels to Round Rock to take on the Express in a three-game set. The Isotopes Home Opener is slated for April 4 against Salt Lake.
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