El Paso, TX — The Opening Day for the El Paso Chihuahuas is less than 24-hours away, as the Chihuahuas prepare to meet the Reno Aces in their season opener on Thursday night. Now, we know who will be wearing those Chihuahuas jerseys for the first time ever.
The El Paso Chihuahuas and the San Diego Padres have announced the 2014 Triple-A Opening Day roster. The group of 25 players includes 13 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and four outfielders. Fourteen of the twenty-five players have Major League experience.
"I've been around the Padres organization since 1984 in various roles. In the history since I've been around I think this is the deepest our farm system has been. When I look at the team, I think the strength is really the pitching. Good young starting pitchers, a good bull pin. Position player wise, that's probably going to change quite a bit but the strength is going to be the pitching," said Randy Smith, VP of Padres player development.
“The members of the inaugural Chihuahuas team are in for a real treat upon arrival in El Paso,” said Chihuahuas’ President Alan Ledford. “Southwest University Park and our fans are going to create an amazing environment for all to enjoy.”
"We are excited to see the first team of Triple-A players and Chihuahuas that will proudly wear El Paso uniforms beginning April 3rd in Reno," said Chihuahuas’ General Manager Brad Taylor.
The Chihuahuas official roster is attached. There are biographical notes on each player below:
Hector Ambriz: The 29-year-old signed a minor league deal with San Diego in mid-March. Ambriz played for Cleveland in 2010 and Houston from 2012-2013.
Blaine Boyer: The 32-year-old signed a free agent contract with San Diego this winter. Boyer has spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with Atlanta, St. Louis, Arizona and the New York Mets.
Leonel Campos: The 26-year-old joins a Triple-A roster for the first time. Campos was one of the best relievers in the Double-A Texas League last year, allowing only three earned runs in 30.2 innings.
Anthony Carter: The 27-year-old is in his first season in the Padres’ organization. Carter spent last year as the closer for the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, finishing 40 games.
Brandon Kloess: The 29-year-old is preparing for his second season with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate. Kloess was originally signed by the White Sox before being traded to San Diego before the 2013 season.
Jason Lane: The 37-year-old played six seasons in the Major Leagues as an outfielder with Houston and San Diego before converting to pitching. Lane hit a home run for the Astros in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series.
Juan Oramas: The 23-year-old is from Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. Oramas helped Double-A San Antonio win the 2013 Texas League championship, posting a 3.07 ERA in 12 games down the stretch.
Kevin Quackenbush: The 25-year-old returns to the Padres’ Triple-A bullpen after a mid-season promotion from San Antonio last year. Quackenbush has a 1.15 ERA in 144 career minor league games.
Chris Rearick: The 26-year-old is on a Triple-A roster for the first time. Rearick is in his second year in the Padres organization after being acquired from Tampa Bay before the 2013 season.
Jorge Reyes: The 26-year-old pitched for Triple-A Tucson as a starter and reliever each of the last two seasons. Reyes was the MVP of the 2007 College World Series for Oregon State.
Keyvius Sampson: The 23-year-old joins the Chihuahuas starting rotation after being named a Double-A Texas League All-Star last year. Sampson was ranked the Padres’ 16th best prospect by MLB.com this winter.
Tony Sipp: The 30-year-old was recently optioned to Triple-A after pitching in nine Major League Spring Training games for San Diego. Sipp has appeared in 304 Major League games for Cleveland and Arizona.
Burch Smith: The 23-year-old Texan returns to Triple-A after dividing 2013 between Double-A, Triple-A and the Major Leagues. Smith was ranked the Padres’ ninth-best prospect by MLB.com this winter.
Rocky Gale: The 26-year-old has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Padres Triple-A affiliate. Gale is known as one of the best defensive catchers in the Padres organization.
Adam Moore: The 29-year-old was traded to the Padres from the Royals in late March. Moore has spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues with Seattle and Kansas City.
Kyle Blanks: The 27-year-old is one of the biggest players in the Padres organization, standing 6-foot-6. Blanks has spent parts of the last five seasons in the Major Leagues, all with San Diego.
Alex Castellanos: The 27-year-old was claimed by the Padres on waivers from the Rangers in early March. Castellanos played for the Los Angeles Dodgers each of the last two seasons.
Brooks Conrad: The 34-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Padres this winter. Conrad has played parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues and was an Arizona State Sun Devil when Chihuahuas’ manager Pat Murphy was the head coach there.
Cody Decker: The 27-year-old was originally drafted by the Padres out of UCLA in 2009. Decker has hit 106 professional home runs in five minor league seasons.
Alberto Gonzalez: The 30-year-old signed with San Diego this past off-season for his second stint with the Padres. Gonzalez has spent parts of seven years in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees, Washington, San Diego, Texas and the Chicago Cubs.
Ryan Jackson: The 25-year-old was traded to the Padres from the Astros in December. Jackson played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 and 2013.
Travis Buck: The 30-year-old re-signed with the Padres as a minor league free agent this winter. Buck has played parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues with Oakland, Houston and Cleveland.
Jeff Francoeur: The 30-year-old signed a minor league deal with San Diego in late March. Francoeur has played nine seasons in the Major Leagues with Atlanta, the New York Mets, Texas, Kansas City and San Francisco.
Reymond Fuentes: The 23-year-old made his Major League debut last season, appearing in 23 San Diego Padres games. Fuentes is Carlos Beltran’s cousin.
Rico Noel: The 25-year-old is on a Triple-A roster for the first time. Noel made the national highlight shows in early March when he hit an inside-the-park home run for the Padres against the Brewers.
INF Alex Dickerson, INF Jonathan Galvez, RHP Rob Johnson and OF Daniel Robertson will all begin the season on El Paso’s disabled list.