Dodger Farm Clubs Open 79th Season Tonight

The Dodgers kids will open their 79th minor league season tonight (Thursday) with the Albuquerque Isotopes, Chattanooga Lookouts, Inland Empire 66ers and Great Lakes Loons in action. The first two Dodgers minor league clubs, in fact the only two, Jersey City and Hartford, saw their first action in 1932.

Wallach Will Again Guide 'Topes'
Pacific Coast Manager of the Year Tim Wallach, hitting coach John Moses, and pitching coach Jim Slaton will resume their roles from a year ago after leading the Albuquerque Isotopes to a franchise-record 80 wins and a playoff appearance.

Wallach, 52, had a remarkable first season as a Triple-A manager, leading the 'Topes to the PCL's American Southern Division title and the team's second division crown in franchise history. A five-time All-Star during his 17-year Major League playing career, Wallach was a steadying presence for an Isotopes team that endured nearly 200 roster transactions.

Albuquerque has RHP Josh Lindblom, RHP James McDonald, LHP Scott Elbert, RHP John Ely and RHP Jon Link on the pitching staff and Catcher A.J. Ellis, infielders Ivan De Jesus, Russ Mitchell and Chin-Lung Hu, plus outfielders Jamie Hoffmann and Xavier Paul on their roster.

The Isotopes open their 2010 season at Oklahoma City.

Carlos Subero New Lookout Manager
Carlos Subero
The Chattanooga Lookouts will have Carlos Subero at the helm as manager this season, while John Valentin and Danny Darwin will serve as hitting coach and pitching coach, respectively.

Subero, who managed Inland Empire last season, returns to the Southern League where in 2008 he guided the Birmingham Barons to a 74-63 record and a Southern League playoff berth.

Prior to his 2008 stint with the Barons, the 37-year-old Venezuelan managed for seven years in the Texas Rangers organization: GCL Rangers (2001-02); Single-A Clinton (2003-05); Single-A Bakersfield (2007-07).

Valentin, who managed the Lookouts to a 65-74 record in 2009, will return to Chattanooga as hitting coach. The 1995 Silver Slugger award winner played 11 years at the Major League level, hitting .279 with 281 doubles and 124 home runs over the course of his career.

Valentin was named Inland Empire's hitting coach in 2008 but was quickly promoted to manager after announced manager Dave Collins resigned due to personal reasons before the start of the season.

The 2010 season will mark Darwin's fifth year as a pitching coach within the Dodgers organization. He spent the prior two years with the Great Lake Loons (A), which followed a two-season stint with Jacksonville (AA).

Darwin finished his 21-year Major League career with a 171-182 record and 3.84 ERA. In 1990 he led the National League with a 2.21 ERA.

Chattanooga has RHP Chris Withrow, RHP Javy Guerra, RHP Tim Sexton and LHP Alberto Bastardo on their staff along with catcher Lucas May, infielder Dee Gordon (the top prospect in the system), Elian Herrera and Jaime Pedroza and outfielders Andrew Lambo, Trayvon Robinson, Scott Van Slyke and Tommy Giles in the outfield.

The Lookouts begin their 2010 campaign at home against the Huntsville Stars on April 8th.

Jeff Carter to Manage 66ers
Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter will be the new Inland Empire manager after guiding the Arizona League Dodgers (2009), Gulf Coast League Dodgers (2008) and Ogden Raptors (2007). Carter came to the Dodgers from the Kansas City farm system where he managed the Royals' Single-A team. He spent nine season as a coach in the Minnesota Twins' organization and was the Appalachian League Manager of the Year in 2000.

Franklin Stubbs will return for a second season at hitting coach and Charlie Hough will serve as pitching coach for the fourth straight season.

Stubbs was the Dodgers' first-round draft choice in 1982 and helped the club to their 1988 World title. He spent a dozen years coaching in the Atlanta chain, serving as hitting coach and was the club's minor league hitting instructor 1999-2002.

Huff, a 25-year Major League veteran, was the Dodgers No. eight selection in the 1966 draft and pitched for the Dodgers for 11 seasons. His coaching career began in 1996 and was the Dodgers' pitching coach in 1988-1989. He held the same position for the Mets in 2001 and 2002.

The 66ers will unveil a new video board that is the largest in the Cal League. On the field, Inland Empire welcomes several elite prospects, including RHP Ethan Martin and LHP Aaron Miller, a 2009 supplemental first-round Draft pick. Martin struck out 120 batters over 100 innings last year, thanks in part to a devastating curveball. Anchoring the offense will be OF Kyle Russell, who hit 26 homers and slugged .545 for Class A Great Lakes last season.

The Class A Advanced California League will play its 40,000th game sometime in July with the winning team receiving a commemorative plaque and a spot in league lore.

The Sixty-Sixes will open the season at Rancho Cucamonga.

Bustabad Returns to Great Lakes
Juan Bustabad
Veteran manager Juan Bustabad will return for a third season with the Great Lakes Loons after guiding them to the third-best record and a playoff berth in the Midwest League last year. He is in his 11th season as a member of the Dodgers organization and completed his 13th season as manager last year, winning his 600th game.

Michael Boughton returns for a second season as hitting coach and Chuck Crim, also in his second year, will again be the pitching coach.

Boughton, spent eight years instructing baseball in the Dallas area and owned a Rookie Baseball academy in Dallas from 2003-06. A 12th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1996, he played in the system for three years and in the Texas Rangers system 1998-99.

Crim spent 2007-08 seasons as a Dodger amateur scout in Southern California. He ha an eight-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers and led the American League in appearances in 1988 and 1999.

Key Loons this season include 2009 Draft picks OF Brian Cavazos-Galvez and catcher Jeremy "JT" Wise. Cavazos-Galvez, a 12th-rounder, was the Pioneer League MVP last season after batting .322 with 18 homers, 63 RBIs and 17 stolen bases for Ogden. Wise, taken in the eighth round, hit .338 with eight homers in 39 games with the Raptors.

Opening Day 2010 will involve 16 teams in the Midwest League with the addition of the Bowling Green Hot Rods and Lake County Captains from the South Atlantic League.

Great Lakes will host South Bend in their season opener.

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