Dodgers’ first baseman James Loney was among the Las Vegas players in the lineup April 5 at Salt Lake.
April 5, 2007 … It’s opening night at Franklin Covey Field as the Salt Lake Bees host the Las Vegas 51s in a Pacific Coast League contest.
Put another way, it’s a matchup of the Angels’ and Dodgers’ Triple-A teams, with plenty of future major leaguers in the lineups.
Among the future Dodgers that day were Tony Abreu at 2B, James Loney in RF, and Andy LaRoche at 3B. Loney would go on to play 1B for the Dodgers, but in the early days of the 2007 season the Dodgers played Mitch Jones at first for the 51s.
The future Angels starting for Salt Lake included Nathan Haynes in CF, Jeff Mathis at C, Brandon Wood at 3B, Kendry Morales at DH, Nick Gorneault in LF, Terry Evans in RF, and Matt Brown at 2B.
Having been raised in Southern California, I always perk up when the Angels’ and Dodgers’ minor league teams square off in the minors. Those contests are now possible at four of the six minor league levels:
- Triple-A: Salt Lake vs. Las Vegas
- Advanced-A: Rancho Cucamonga vs. Inland Empire
- Class A: Cedar Rapids vs. Great Lakes
- Rookie-A: Orem vs. Ogden
An Arizona League matchup is likely in 2009 when the Dodgers move from Vero Beach to Glendale AZ, so they should face the Tempe Angels.
The only remaining linkup would be in Double-A, where the Dodgers have their affiliate in Jacksonville FL. The Dodgers had a long and rich history in the Texas League, most recently with San Antonio, but a management decision a few years ago to concentrate their affiliations on the east coast to be near Vero Beach led the Dodgers to leave Texas for Florida. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers file to terminate on Jacksonville after the 2008 season and seek to return to the Texas League, but many of those teams are affiliated with regional favorites so their opportunities may be few.
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