Schaeffer Returns to Manage Isotopes, Remainder of Coaching Staff Annoucned
The Colorado Rockies have announced the Albuquerque Isotopes coaching staff for the 2022 season, highlighted by the return of Warren Schaeffer as the team's manager.
Schaeffer made his Triple-A managerial debut in 2021 and was a steady force for a club that saw wholesale roster changes all season, as Albuquerque set a club record with 72 different players appearing in a game. Albuquerque finished 58-72 in Schaeffer's first season in the dugout. Schaeffer was originally scheduled to be the Isotopes skipper in 2020 but ended up leading the Rockies alternate training site after the Minor League season was cancelled due to the pandemic.
In six seasons as a Minor League manager, Schaeffer has a record of 402-419. He was at the helm of the Single-A Asheville Tourists from 2015-17 before leading the Double-A Yard Goats in 2018 and 2019. Before entering the coaching ranks, the Pennsylvania native played six years in the Rockies player development system.
Pedro Lopez will return to Albuquerque for a second season, albeit in a different role. Lopez will be the bench coach in 2022 after serving as the hitting coach last season. The 2022 campaign will mark the first time the Isotopes have had a bench coach. Prior to joining the Rockies organization, Lopez served as a Minor League manager in the Texas Rangers and New York Mets player development systems over the prior two decades, including with the Las Vegas 51s in 2018.
Joining Schaeffer and Lopez in the dugout will be two newcomers to the Isotopes coaching staff, hitting coach Jordan Pacheco and pitching coach Frank Gonzales.
Pacheco retired from playing in 2021 and subsequently served as an assistant coach for the independent Grand Junction Rockies (Pioneer League) after his retirement. Previously announced to the staff in November, Pacheco was one of the most prolific offensive players in UNM's baseball history, as 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. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Rockies in 2007 and eventually made his Major League debut with Colorado in 2011. Pacheco's Major League career also included stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds.
Frank Gonzales will be Albuquerque's pitching coach in 2022, making the jump from Double-A Hartford where he served in the same role last season. Gonzales previously managed two different Rookie-Level clubs in the Rockies chain, guiding the Boise Hawks in 2015 before being at the helm for Grand Junction in 2016 and 2017. He was also the pitching coach for the Low-A Tri City Dust Devils in 2013 and 2014 after having served as head coach at Fort Collins High School in Colorado from 2009-12. Gonzales' son Marco is one of the top starting pitchers in the Major Leagues. He has spent time with the St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners, while finishing each of the last four campaigns with an ERA under 4.00 for the Mariners.
Athletic Trainer Hoshi Mizutani and Physical Performance Coach Phil Bailey will return to their same positions they occupied last season with Albuquerque. Mizutani previously worked as the trainer for Hartford in 2018 and 2019. Bailey served in the position of Physical Performance Coach for both Boise (2017) and Hartford (2018-19).
The Isotopes are scheduled to begin the 2022 season at Oklahoma City on April 5, with the home opener set for April 12 vs. Tacoma.
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