Minor league baseball kicks off today, and all four full season Dodger minor league affiliates will be in action later this afternoon/evening. Since the Dodgers are off today, this is a perfect opportunity to get familiar with the 2011 Dodger minor league rosters. Two of the games (Loons and Isotopes) can be seen via MILB TV, although there is a subscription fee of $29.99 which buys you access for the entire season. All games can be heard free via the internet, and the link for all teams can be found here. Also, as the games start I'll be adding links to the boxscores, and after all the games are done I'll have a new post with my first minor league recap of the season.
The Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA) will be at home on opening day to face the Omaha Storm Chasers. Dana Eveland appears to be healed from his hamstring injury because he was selected as the team's opening day starter. Except for lefty Alberto Bastardo, every pitcher on the Isotopes pitching staff has major league experience. The position players on this team feature several guys from the 2010 team, including Ivan De Jesus, John Lindsay, Russ Mitchell, and Justin Sellers. In addition, newcomers Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon should make this team very competitive in the Pacific Coast League. Link to Isotopes Box Score and Link to Gameday
The Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) start their 2011 season at home against the Tennessee Smokies, and will look to get off to a strong start in the Southern League. Despite the presence of Rubby De La Rosa on the team, Chris Withrow will take the ball on opening day for the Lookouts and will try to put his tumultuous 2010 season behind him. Without Sands and Gordon the team will be a little short on offensive prospects, so guys like Kyle Russell and Pedro Baez will try and fill the void in 2011. Link to Lookouts Box Score and link to Gameday
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (HiA) open their season on the road against the Inland Empire 66ers; the very same team that was the Dodgers' California League affiliate last season. Allen Webster will be on the hill for the Quakes, and he will be backed by a veteran bullpen. The heart of the team's batting order will feature the big bats of Jake Lemmerman, Blake Smith, and Angelo Songco. Link to Quakes Box Score
The Great Lakes Loons (LoA) begin their season in the Midwest League at home against the Lake County Captains. While Zach Lee is the starting pitcher on the team who will get the most attention this year, 23 year old Red Patterson will get the nod as the opening day starter. Today will also be the full season debut for many players, including the talented outfield trio of Jonathan Garcia, Leon Landry, and Nick Akins. Link to Loon Box Score