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 Albuquerque Isotopes

Isotopes Announce 2024 Coaching Staff; Pedro Lopez Back for Second Year as Manager

January 31, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Albuquerque Isotopes News Release


Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes
Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes
(Albuquerque Isotopes)

The Albuquerque Isotopes, in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, today announced their 2024 coaching staff, including the return of second-year Manager Pedro Lopez, Hitting Coach Jordan Pacheco and Pitching Coach Chris Michalak with Michael Ryan named Bench Coach.

Lopez, the eighth manager in Isotopes history, enters his second season at the helm in his fourth year overall with the club. He previously served as Albuquerque's hitting coach in 2021 and bench coach in 2022. The Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, native is beginning his 20th year as a Minor League manager and third 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 20 seasons as a manager, Lopez has a 1,047-1,059 overall record and appeared in seven playoffs, including winning the Double-A Eastern League Championship in 2014 with the Binghamton Mets. He won his 1,000th game as a manager June 4, 2023, in a 7-1 victory over Salt Lake. 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.

Pacheco, an Albuquerque native, is back for his third season as the Isotopes hitting coach. In 2023, Pacheco helped guide the club to a franchise-record 959 runs while finishing third among Triple-A teams in runs, hits (1,469) and total bases (2435), fifth in OPS (.830) and sixth in slugging (.464). 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 in MiLB history 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).

Michalakreturns for his second year as Albuquerque's pitching coach in 2024. It's 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 five 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.

Ryan begins his first season with the Rockies organization and will serve as the Isotopes' bench coach. This marks Ryan's second stop in Albuquerque after the former outfielder played in 33 games for the Isotopes and hit nine homers during the 2008 season when the club was a Marlins affiliate. He and Michalak were teammates on that Isotopes squad for four days in late July. Ryan, a 5th round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 1996 out of Indiana High School (Indiana, PA), played in 149 MLB games over parts of five seasons with the Twins (2002-05) and Angels (2010). After retiring in 2011, Ryan entered the coaching ranks in 2012 as a coach for the Double-A Altoona Curve (Pirates). He then managed in the Pirates organization at three levels for seven seasons with stops at Single-A West Virginia (2013-14), High-A Bradenton (2015-16) and Double-A Altoona (2017-19), while winning the Florida State League in 2016 and Eastern League in 2017. Over his three years with Altoona Ryan compiled a 221-197 managerial record-the most wins for a manager in Curve history. After the cancellation of the 2020 MiLB season, Ryan joined the Cubs organization and managed the High-A South Bend Cubs in 2021 followed by stint as the Double-A Tennessee Smokies manager from 2022-June 2023. His 2022 Smokies squad lost in the league finals.

Head Athletic Trainer Hoshi Mizutani is returning in his same role for a fourth season in Albuquerque. Mizutani is in his sixth year with the Rockies after serving as the trainer for Hartford (2018-19). Joining Mizutani as Assistant Athletic Trainer is Luke Schroering, who is entering his first year with the Rockies organization. Physical Performance Coach Mason Rook will also return for his second year with the club.

Albuquerque is set to begin its 21st season in franchise history on Friday, March 29 at 6:35 pm when it hosts the El Paso Chihuahuas at RGCU Field at Isotopes Park in a three-game set.

For information about Season Tickets, Flex/Combo Plans, Suite rentals or booking other hospitality areas, fans may visit abqisotopes.com or call (505) 924-2255. Individual game tickets will go on sale Tuesday, February 20.





Images from this story

Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes
Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes

Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes
Michael Ryan with the Albuquerque Isotopes

 

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