Pedro Lopez is returning to the Albuquerque Isotopes for the 2023 season, not as the bench coach, but as their new manager. He will be joined by former Lobo baseball star Jordan Pacheco as the returning hitting coach.
Staff from the Isotopes gathered on Friday, Feb. 17 for a press conference to celebrate the promotion of Lopez and introduce his goals for the new season. He is the eighth manager in Isotopes history, according to Minor League Baseball.
Lopez said he is grateful and honored, but it won’t be easy. He has one goal for the upcoming season: winning.
“We got to win … You don't know what you're gonna get (on the roster), but we have an idea of who we might have … Pitching and defense wins championships … It’s never been about me, it's about the guys … It’s gonna be fun,” Lopez said.
This isn’t Lopez’s first rodeo as manager: he has an overall managerial record of 979-977 across 19 seasons in the minor leagues, according to MILB. He served as the Isotopes hitting coach in 2021 and the bench coach in 2022. Lopez previously managed in the Mets organization for 12 seasons. His professional coaching career started in 2001 with the Savannah Sand Gnats, at the time the Rangers’ Low-A affiliate.
Lopez also had a playing career with the San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros minor league teams. He was originally selected by the Padres in the 21st round of the 1988 MLB draft, according to MILB.
In addition to the changes to the coaching staff, fans this season can expect 15 firework shows, 21 giveaways, a Green Chile Cheeseburger alternate uniform night, six Mariachi alternate uniform games, an Independence day celebration and a wide selection for food, according to the Isotopes Schedule. The Isotopes will start their season on April 1 and have their home opener on April 4 against the Salt Lake Bees.
Miyawni Curtis is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted on Twitter @MiyawniCurtis or by email at email@example.com
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Miyawni Curtis is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo and served as the Summer 2023 news editor. She can be contacted on Twitter @MiyawniCurtis