Dodgers purchase stake in Triple-A Oklahoma City, citing ‘opportunity we couldn’t pass up.’

Oklahoma City baseball field

The 19-year-old Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is home to the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

Making formal a poorly kept secret, the Dodgers announced an agreement today with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC to purchase the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks, which will become the team’s new Triple-A affiliate.

The Dodgers had been affiliated with the Albuquerque Isotopes since 2009.

Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber will be the Executive Chairman and Managing Director of the RedHawks. Partners Paul Schaeffer and Larry Freedman (who are not directly involved with the Dodgers) will manage the operations of the company.

According to multiple reports, the ownership structure is a 50/50 arrangement in which Guber owns half of the RedHawks, and the other Dodgers owners control the other half.

The purchase agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approvals of the Pacific Coast League and Minor League Baseball and the review of the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

“We enjoyed a great relationship with the Albuquerque organization and its fans,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said, “but the opportunity of franchise ownership was one we couldn’t pass up.”
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Dodgers’ third base coach details the perils of elevation on a player’s evolution.

Albuquerque Isotopes logoToday could be the day the Dodgers formally switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman reported the move in August. Yesterday, BaseballAmerica.com reported that 23 minor-league teams have a two-week window to secure new affiliations beginning today, and that Albuquerque and Oklahoma City are two of those teams.

When the move was first reported, I mentioned that former Albuquerque Isotopes manager Lorenzo Bundy (now the Dodgers’ third base coach) offered his scouting report on exactly what playing at 5,200 feet does to a developing baseball player.

Here is that scouting report. This isn’t to presume that elevation was the primary reason for the Dodgers moving their Triple-A affiliate — far from it. Rather, Bundy’s experience adds some nuance to our understanding of why playing at elevation might be more or less desirable from a player development standpoint. This might be a business move first and foremost; here’s the baseball end of it:

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A few words on Carlos Frias and Zach Lee, and why one of them is here.

Carlos Frias

Carlos Frias shut out the Washington Nationals for six innings in his first major-league start on Sept. 3. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)

SAN FRANCISCO >> Glenn Dishman, the pitching coach at Triple-A Albuquerque, is with the big-league club this week. I caught up with him for his thoughts about Carlos Frias‘ evolution, and I’ll share what he said in a bit.

It’s not fair to compare Frias directly to Zach Lee, the former first-round draft pick who just finished the season at Albuquerque. They’re two different pitchers with two different repertoires. Lee turned 23 on Saturday. Frias is 24, but he’s been pitching in the Dodgers’ system since he was 17. Lee was a blue-chip high school quarterback recruit in Texas at the same age.

That said, only one of the two pitchers is here now. At the beginning of the season it wouldn’t have shocked anyone (at least, anyone who pays too much attention to the Dodgers’ farm system) if Lee were getting September starts. As it happened, Frias will probably start Wednesday at Coors Field — and maybe twice more, a lofty assignment for a rookie on a team chasing a playoff spot.

So what happened to Zach Lee?

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Dodgers’ September call-ups: A look to the not-too-distant future. Update.

Joc Pederson

Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson has a .307/.438/.589 slash line for Triple-A Albuquerque this season, and has stolen 30 bases in 43 attempts. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Before Saturday’s game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly provided the closest thing to a clue about who will be called up from the minor leagues on Monday, when teams are allowed to carry every player on their 40-man roster to every game for the remainder of the season.

(As an aside, the Dodgers play a September series in Chicago against the Cubs. Wrigley Field’s visiting clubhouse is the smallest in the major leagues. This could become baseball’s equivalent of a clown car and I can’t wait to find out how it’ll look.)

Mattingly didn’t name names, but said “I think it’s maybe five or six (players),” noting that injuries could affect the number.

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Report: Dodgers to switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City.

Albuquerque Isotopes logoCiting unnamed sources, the Oklahoman reported on its website today that the Dodgers will switch Triple-A affiliates from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City next season.

According to the report, a “group affiliated with the Dodgers” is in the final stages of purchasing the Oklahoma City Redhawks from Mandalay Sports Entertainment. Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mandalay Baseball Properties, a subsidiary of MSE.

The Dodgers have been affiliated with the Albuquerque Isotopes since 2009. From 1963-2000, the Dodgers were affiliated with the Albuquerque Dukes before switching their Triple-A affiliate to Las Vegas. Continue reading

Dodgers acquire veteran right-hander Justin Germano from Texas Rangers.

The Dodgers have acquired veteran right-hander Justin Germano from the Texas Rangers for future considerations, Rangers vice president of communications John Blake wrote on Twitter.

The 32-year-old from Claremont had started 21 games for Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League and posted a 4.51 earned-run average. Germano has been assigned from Round Rock to Albuquerque.

The Dodgers lost Triple-A right-hander Stephen Fife to Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, ruling him out for the remainder of this season and likely 2015 as well. The Dodgers can transfer Fife to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room for Germano on their 40-man roster.

Germano has pitched 96 major-league games for seven different teams in a career that began in 2004. He’s 10-30 with a 5.40 ERA in his career.

Albuquerque Isotopes brawl with Reno Aces [video].

The Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, were involved in a massive brawl this evening during their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks-affiliated Reno Aces. Ten players were ejected:

Ben Ross of KOLO-TV in Reno provided the video and the play-by-play on Twitter:

Ross deleted the video, but we have a couple more videos below:
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A brief postscript to the Albuquerque Isotopes’ forfeit loss.

Albuquerque Isotopes manager Damon Berryhill spoke to Examiner.com briefly about having a walk-off win changed to a forfeit loss on Tuesday.

“We got caught up in basically a paper move and just made a mistake in a transaction that ended up costing us a game,” Berryhill told reporter Chris Jackson.

That’s essentially the same explanation that Dodgers vice president of player development De Jon Watson gave us, and it lacks specifics about how the mistake was made. There are “easy mistakes to make”; this isn’t one of those.

With or without specifics, the Dodgers and Isotopes don’t come away looking good. The Isotopes have a 44-55 record and are 12 games out of first place, so one game might not matter much in the long run.

The “real victim” in all of this? Albuquerque pitcher Juan Abreu, who had a win stricken from his record by the league on Tuesday and was released from his minor-league contract Thursday. Here’s to better times, Juan.

Dodgers’ Triple-A team is forced to forfeit a victory.

A simple yet obvious bookkeeping error resulted in a forfeit loss for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate. Here’s the full text of a Pacific Coast League release explaining why:

The Pacific Coast League has announced an official change to the result of the July 9 game between the El Paso Chihuahuas and Albuquerque Isotopes. The game, which had been suspended due to rain and completed the following day, ended in a final score of Albuquerque 7, El Paso 6. However, that has now been declared an El Paso victory by way of forfeit.

Following the completion of the game, the Pacific Coast League determined that a 26th player was improperly added to the Albuquerque roster prior to the game. Major League Rule 2(c)(2)(b) stipulates the active roster limit for Triple-A teams is 25 players. The violation occurred as a result of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Isotopes major league affiliate, activating an Albuquerque player from the Disabled List without making a corresponding transaction to remove a player from the Triple-A club’s Active List, which was already at the 25-player limit.

Thus, the game becomes a forfeit in the favor of the El Paso club and corresponding adjustments will be made to the teams’ respective won/loss records. Per the Official Baseball Rules, even though the final score will now be listed as a 9-0 El Paso win, individual and team statistics from the game, including runs scored, will count in the official records. However, the pitching records — win, loss, and other — will be erased.

More to come as we get it.

Dodgers option Pedro Baez to Triple-A.

The Dodgers optioned pitcher Pedro Baez to Triple-A Albuquerque after beating the San Diego Padres 1-0 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. The corresponding roster move will be announced after the All-Star break. Baez pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday at Detroit in his most recent major-league stint.

Overall, Baez has allowed two runs in two innings with the Dodgers this season. The right-hander won’t have anywhere to pitch until Thursday, since the Pacific Coast League is in the midst of its own All-Star break.