EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Coming off the worst season in franchise history in 2021, the El Paso Chihuahuas have a new manager and a new roster for 2022, looking to bounce back.
They just have to wait for the full complement of players to show up.
Due to the Major League Baseball lockout and the delayed start to Spring Training, the start of the Minor League Baseball season and MLB Opening Day are closer to crossing over than ever before. So, new Chihuahuas manager Jared Sandberg only had about half of his roster on hand on Sunday at media day in El Paso.
The rest of what will be the 2022 edition of the Chihuahuas is still at Spring Training in Arizona, as the San Diego Padres wrap up the final days of Spring Training before MLB Opening Day on Thursday.
“They’re making decisions, there’s prospects and players that will ultimately be on our roster, but it’s still going on,” said Sandberg. “It’s something we knew would be a possibility when Big League camp started. We’ll be patient and whoever is there on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, we’ll accept them. It’s just the situation we’re in right now.”
Among the players thought to be on El Paso’s roster on Opening Day include pitcher Ryan Weathers, catcher Webster Rivas, infielders Aderlin Rodriguez and Matthew Batten. Padres top prospect C.J. Abrams is also a possibility – but is playing so well in Spring Training that the Padres may just put him on the Opening Day roster. Luis Campusano, MacKenzie Gore and Reggie Lawson are also potential Chihuahuas, but could go the other way. Sandberg underscored that it was still a fluid situation on Sunday.
A player that will be in a Chihuahuas uniform to open the season is Trayce Thompson, the younger brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson. Thompson was in El Paso on Sunday going through workouts with the team. Since 2015, Thompson has played parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues, hitting .208 with 26 home runs at the MLB level.
Jesse Scholtens will be the Opening Day starter for El Paso on Tuesday night in Round Rock, the beginning of a six-game series with the Express. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. MT.
El Paso will play its home opener on Tuesday, April 12, vs. the Oklahoma City Dodgers.