Monthly Archives: March 2024


Press release from the Inland Empire 66ers:

San Bernardino, CA (March 27, 2024) – The Inland Empire 66ers today announced they have entered into an agreement to sell the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), an organization that owns and operates select Minor League clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB). DBH will carry on the community-first legacy that Dave Elmore, late co-owner of the 66ers, and Donna Tuttle Elmore instilled in San Bernardino since purchasing the team in 1992. The 66ers will continue playing as the Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, and all front office staff will remain with the club under the existing leadership of General Manager, Joe Hudson.

Continue reading


Here’s the press release for the Fresno Grizzlies’ 2024 coaching staff, led once again by manager Steve Soliz:

Fresno, CA – The Fresno Grizzlies and Colorado Rockies have announced the Fresno field staff for the 2024 season. Reigning California League Manager of the Year Steve Soliz will once again pilot the team after leading the Grizzlies to a league-best 78-54 record in his inaugural season at the helm. Reprising their roles for the 2024 season are Bench Coach Cesar Galvez, Hitting Coach Trevor Burmeister, Athletic Trainer Justin Wilson and Physical Performance Coach Jeremiah Stewart. The only change to the staff is Rolando Garza, who takes over as the Pitching Coach after the departure of Mark Brewer.

Soliz enters his fifth season in the Colorado Rockies system and his fourth with the Grizzlies. Last year, Soliz’s squad finished with a winning record against every team in the league and saw multiple players secure end of year California League awards. Over the past three seasons, Soliz has helped develop a plethora of Colorado prospects including 2023 California League MVP Ryan Ritter, current Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar and #1 Colorado prospect Adael Amador. Before becoming Fresno’s manager, Soliz had been the team’s Bench Coach (2022) and Development Supervisor (2021). In his first season with the Rockies, Soliz managed the Short-Season club in Boise (2019). Prior to joining the Colorado organization, Soliz spent 15 seasons in the Angels system. He had most recently coached with the Major League team, serving as the catching and information coach. Before taking that role, he was the Halos bullpen catcher for eight seasons from 2003 to 2010. Soliz was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He enjoyed eight professional seasons as a catcher with Cleveland (1993-99) and San Diego (2000-01). Over 473 minor league games, Soliz compiled a .236 batting average with 168 runs scored, 62 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 144 RBI. He was most notably a catcher in the 1998 Triple-A World Series. In the offseason, Soliz resides in San Juan Capistrano, California with his wife Heather and daughter Charlotte.

Galvez returns to the Grizzlies dugout for the second straight season as the Bench Coach. Last year, Galvez helped develop a young plethora of Rockies talent, including 2023 California League MVP Ryan Ritter and Rockies #7 overall prospect Dyan Jorge. The former infielder spent seven minor league seasons playing in the Colorado Rockies system from 2010-2016, reaching as high as Triple-A Albuquerque. Galvez was known for his speed, swiping 116 bases, including 47 in his second professional season. After his playing days ended, Galvez joined the Rockies as a minor league coach. He was the Boise Hawks hitting coach in 2018-2019. Galvez was then promoted to manager of the Hawks in 2020 prior to the pandemic. After that, Galvez was a coach for the Hartford Yard Goats in 2021 and the ACL Rockies bench coach in 2022. Galvez is only 32 years old and was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Burmeister enters his fifth season in the Colorado Rockies system and his second with the Grizzlies as the Hitting Coach. Last year, Burmeister was instrumental in the success of 2023 California League MVP Ryan Ritter and the emergence of infielder Skyler Messinger. Prior to joining Fresno, Burmeister spent three seasons as the hitting coach with the Arizona Complex League Rockies. He was originally hired as the hitting coach for Rookie Level Grand Junction prior to the cancelled 2020 season. Prior to joining the Rockies, he served as the assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator for Madison College (2016-19) and as the assistant baseball coach for the University of Minnesota Duluth (2015-16). He was awarded the ABCA/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year in NJCAA for his work at Madison College in 2019. During the summer of 2016, Burmeister was the assistant baseball coach for the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods Summer Collegiate League. Burmeister attended Madison College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He received his master’s degree in education (coaching emphasis) in 2017 and has a bachelor’s degree in organizational and professional communication (2014). Burmeister also minored in psychology and sociology. He played baseball for two years at each of his collegiate stops, mainly as an outfielder. Burmeister attended Verona Area High School in Verona, Wisconsin and currently resides in Black Earth, Wisconsin.

Garza joins the Rockies organization as the Grizzlies Pitching Coach. Prior to joining Colorado, Garza spent time in the Tampa Bay Rays system as the Pitching Coordinator (2020-23). Before that, Garza worked five years at Pepperdine University as their Pitching Coach (2015-19). He most notably worked with minor league pitcher A.J. Puckett in 2016, who had a stretch of 57.1 innings without giving up an earned run and 45.2 innings without surrendering a run, one of the longest streaks in NCAA history. Garza spent one year with the ACL Angels (2015) and three seasons at Riverside City College (2013-15) prior to joining the Waves. While at RCC, he collaborated with Korean strength coach/skill developer Youngjin Yoon on a holistic hybrid pitching philosophy that merges the American power pitching culture, with Southeast Asian baseball developmental strategies. Before his college coaching career, Garza made coaching stints with the Angels and Rays (who he worked with later on). Garza, like the majority of the Grizzlies coaching staff, played professionally as well. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 9th round of the 1997 MLB amateur draft from Coachella Valley High School. He played in the minor leagues from 1997 to 2004. In 2000, Garza transitioned from infielder (primarily) to a pitching role. After his playing career ended, Garza earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from California State University, San Bernardino and graduated in 2010. Garza has two siblings, Jose and Raymond.

Wilson enters his fourth season with both the Rockies and Grizzlies as the Athletic Trainer. Prior to joining the Rockies system, Wilson spent three years (2018-2020) with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Wilson has also worked overseas in Puerto Rico for the Criollos de Caguas baseball team. They play in Liga de Béisbol Professional Roberto Clemente, which is comprised of seven teams. Wilson graduated from the School of Athletic Training in 2016 from the University of Central Florida and then was a graduate assistant at the University of West Florida. Wilson enjoys fishing and golfing in his free time.

Stewart enters his second season with both the Rockies and Grizzlies as the Physical Performance Coach. Prior to joining the Rockies, Stewart was a Strength Coach at Colgate University and for UCLA Men’s and Women’s Basketball. He obtained his B.S in Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton and currently is a graduate student at PennWest. He resides in Fresno with his wife and two beautiful children.

The Fresno Grizzlies season opener is slated for Friday, April 5th, at 7:00 pm in San Jose while the home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th, at 6:50 p.m. against the Inland Empire 66ers.



The Fresno Grizzlies are a proud affiliate of the Colorado Rockies organization. During the 2023 season, the Grizzlies finished with the best record in the California League while holding several league records, including highest attendance. The team plays at Chukchansi Park, a year-round venue hosting numerous special events, including concerts, non-profit events, and more.


Press release from the Stockton Ports on their new play-by-play announcer Tim Fitzgerald:

Stockton, Calif. – The Stockton Ports are thrilled to announce Tim Fitzgerald as the new play-by-play announcer for the 2024 season.

Fitzgerald will replace former broadcaster Alex Jensen, who previously filled the role for the last three seasons.

“I’m very excited to be the full-time broadcast voice of the Stockton Ports,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a position I’ve been interested in for a while, and it was a thrill to fill in for Alex Jensen when needed the past two seasons. I love baseball and can’t wait to tell the story of the Ports this year and beyond. I’m incredibly thankful to Chris Zavaglia, Jordan Feneck, and Pat Filippone for giving me this opportunity.”

Fitzgerald spent the past three years at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. as the Director of Communications for Athletics. He oversaw communications for Baseball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Golf, and Men’s and Women’s Tennis.

During his time at Saint Mary’s College, he was also the lead broadcaster for the Gaels Baseball Program that had three players drafted in 2023, and has churned out big leaguers Corbin Burns, Tony Gonsolin, Patrick Wisdom, and Ken Waldichuk. He also helped lead a media campaign to get the WCC’s all-time leading 3-point shooter Taycee Wedin into the State Farm National 3-Point Competition where she made the finals.

“We are excited to have Tim join the Ports team as our new play-by-play broadcaster,” said Ports Assistant General Manager Chris Zavaglia. “He has done a tremendous job filling in over the past two seasons. I’m looking forward to him bringing his knowledge of Ports baseball to the fans along with his on-air talent in 2024 and beyond.”

Fans will get the chance to listen to all Ports games on the airwaves of Fox Sports AM 1280 and the iHeart Radio app for another season. While fans can tune in on the radio, they will be able to watch games on MiLB.TV and the Bally Live app, for free, for the first time too.

The Ports Opening Night is scheduled for Friday, April 5th at Banner Island Ballpark where they’ll take on the Modesto Nuts, the Single-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, with first pitch slated for 7:05 pm. Mini plans, groups, suites, and single-game tickets are all on sale for the 2024 season. Fans can purchase tickets for Opening Weekend here.

For more information, call the Ports front office at 209-644-1900 or email at [email protected].


Here’s the press release for Rancho Cucamonga’s 2024 coaching staff:

Rancho Cucamonga, CA — As the 2024 season continues to rapidly approach, the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced their minor league affiliates’ coaching staffs.

The Quakes will again be led by skipper John Shoemaker, who comes back to Rancho Cucamonga for his fourth season with the team. The Dodgers selected “Shoe” in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, and he would spend four seasons in the minor leagues. The Ohio native would go on to begin a coaching career in 1981, where he would start as a hitting coach with the Vero Beach Dodgers of the Florida State League. In 2015, Shoemaker was named the “Captain” of the Dodgers Player Development system and has worn a “C” on his jersey since. Last season, Shoemaker was the recipient of the second annual Tommy Lasorda I Bleed Dodger Blue Award, an honor given to a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers community that embodies the passion, enthusiasm, and love for the Dodgers that Tommy Lasorda possessed.

In 2023, Shoemaker’s Quakes finished the regular season at 71-61 before heading to the California League Playoffs. The Quakes would survive the Inland Empire 66ers in the South Division Playoffs, and ultimately suffer the loss to the Modesto Nuts in the Cal League Championship Series. In three seasons under Shoemaker, the Quakes are 206-178.

Regarding his return to the Quakes, John Shoemaker said, “The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have enjoyed a successful professional working agreement since 2011. We are fortunate to have a nice facility, a good fan base, and a supportive front office staff. Looking forward to returning to Rancho for the 2024 California League season beginning in April.”

“Shoe has been awesome for our fans, our community, our staff and for the players on the field,” said Executive Vice President – General Manager Grant Riddle. “We’re thrilled to have him back for another year and can’t wait for the start of the season!”

Shoemaker’s staff will be rounded out with a handful of coaches who will make their return to Rancho Cucamonga. Pitching Coach and former Dodger hurler Ramon Troncoso will be back for his fourth consecutive season, while Pitching Coach Sean Coyne comes back for his second straight season with the Quakes.

New to the Quakes’ coaching staff are Hitting Coach Blake Gailen and Bench Coach Cordell Hipolito. Gailen played baseball in the Angels’, Blue Jays’, and Dodgers’ organizations before getting his coaching start with the Arizona Complex League Dodgers in 2022. Hipolito makes his Quakes coaching debut after several years of coaching college baseball and a three-season stint with the Dominican Summer League Dodgers in 2021 through 2023.

Rancho’s coaching staff is completed by Athletic Trainer Aki Maeda, who returns for his second season with the team, along with Walter Lindo, who begins his time with the Quakes as the Performance Coach, and Dallas Young who will start his time with the team as the Video Associate.

The Quakes will open the 2024 California League season when they face the Lake Elsinore Storm on Friday, April 5th. Ticket packages, groups, dugout decks and suites are now available. Single-game tickets are on sale as well. For more information, visit


Press release:

For the first time, the Lake Elsinore Storm are welcoming ALL Storm Fans to our annual Storm Player Welcome Dinner. An intimate event for our Season Ticket Members in the past is now opening up to Storm Fans who have the ability to donate $85 to Thunder Cares.

Thunder Cares is a component of the Inland Empire Community Foundation, a 501c3 that uses proceeds raised through Thunder Cares to benefit local charities, youth sports, military and first responders, and other local groups in need.

This will be a limited-capacity event in our Diamond Taproom that includes dinner, a drink, dessert, the very first chance to interact with our 2024 Storm Players with a meet-and-greet, the opportunity for signatures, and a raffle for Storm memorabilia.

This event will take place on Wednesday, April 3rd from 5:30-8:00 PM at our Diamond Taproom with dinner starting at 6 PM.

Submit your Donations for 2024 Storm Player Welcome Dinner Tickets Here

You also still have the option to become a Storm Season Member and attend the event for free! For more information about Storm Season Memberships, please email us at [email protected].


The Inland Empire 66ers 2024 coaching staff will be led by new manager Ever Magallanes, with the rest of the staff listed in this press release:

San Bernardino, CA– The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino announced on Thursday the naming of the field staff that will helm the Sixers in 2022 at San Manuel Stadium. The 66ers’ parent club, the Los Angeles Angels, named veteran player development instructor Ever Magallanes to lead the Class-A staff that includes a mix of returning and new coaches.

Magallanes, who succeeds Jack Howell (now with the Angels’ High-A affiliated Tri-City Dust Devils), enters his first season skippering the Inland Empire ballclub. The 56-year-old spent the prior 13 years with the Chicago White Sox in a variety of roles including Field Manager, Field Coordinator and Supervisor of the White Sox’ Academy in the Dominican Republic. Born in Mexico, Magallanes come to Southern California at the age of two with his family. He starred as a shortstop for Bell High School and Cerritos College before finishing his amateur career at Texas A&M and being selected by Cleveland in the tenth round of the 1987 draft. He appeared in three games at the MLB-level for Cleveland in 1991. Following a long minor league/international playing career he began a coaching journey as Manager of the Angels Arizona League team in 2006; he managed Rancho Cucamonga of the California League in 2008.

“We are thrilled to have such an accomplished baseball man managing our team this year,” 66ers’ General Manager Joe Hudson said. “I’m confident Ever and his staff will put a well-prepared team on the field night in and night out and will continue the tradition of positive leadership that the Angels have always provided us as their affiliate.”

Magallanes’ staff will include several returners to San Bernardino. Hitting Coach Ryan Sebra and Coach Trevor Nyp will again call San Manuel Stadium home as each return for their second seasons in those capacities. Sebra also appeared as a player for the Sixers in 2016 prior to becoming an instructor. Steven Hernandez continues as the dean of the group as the former area high school coach and Angels’ scout remains part of the staff he joined in 2011. Newcomers to the squad are Pitching Coach Bo Martino (who was with the Angels Arizona Complex League team in 2021), Athletic Trainer Masa Koyanagi as well as Strength and Conditioning Coach Jimmy Sanchez. Rounding out the player development staff for the 2022 Inland Empire 66ers are Game Planning Strategist Derron Davis, Video Assistant Veronica Cobos and Clubhouse Manager Bobby Barrett.

The 66ers open the 2022 campaign at San Manuel Stadium on April 8th versus Lake Elsinore. For information regarding the 66ers roster, schedule, group outings as well as links to purchase season and individual game tickets please visit


The San Diego Padres made big news on Thursday when they acquired RHP Dylan Cease from the White Sox for a package of four prospects, three of which have played for the Lake Elsinore Storm. Cease has struck out more than 200 batters each of the last three years and went 14-8 in 2022 with a 1.11 whip as opposing batters hit .190 against him. The 28-year old slots in at the front of the Padres’ rotation as they try to close the gap with the Dodgers and last year’s NL champions, the Diamondbacks.

The value of top prospects isn’t just in the possibility of having them produce for the major league team. They can be leveraged for immediate help by acquiring a proven major leaguer such as Cease for an area of need. With 2023 Cy Young award-winner Blake Snell out on the open market, the Padres have filled such a need.

In exchange for Cease, the Padres reached into their deep farm system and flipped three of their top 10 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

RHP Drew Thorpe had just been acquired from the Yankees in the Juan Soto trade, and San Diego sent him to Chicago in this deal.

Also going to the South Side are three former Lake Elsinore Storm players.

SAMUEL ZAVALA – A left-handed hitting outfielder, Zavala played 134 games with Lake Elsinore over 2022 and 2023. Last season he slashed .267/.420/.451 with 14 homers. He was the Padres’ #7 prospect.

JAIRO IRIARTE – RHP Iriarte appeared in 21 games for the Storm in 2022, striking out 109 in 91 1/3 innings. Last year he finished at AA and was San Diego’s #8 prospect.

STEVEN WILSON – A RHP, Wilson has pitched for the Padres in each of the last three season, making 22 appearances and posting a 1.19 ERA over 22 2/3 innings. He finished 2018 pitching in two games for Lake Elsinore and then went 2-0 in 17 games in 2019 before being promoted to AAA El Paso.



The Modesto Nuts sent out a Nuts Baseball Bulletin this past Thursday with details on the parent club Mariners’ roster for the inaugural Spring Breakout game to be played on Friday, March 15th:

The Mariners Spring Breakout Roster Released

Major League Baseball and the Seattle Mariners today announced the Mariners roster for the inaugural Spring Breakout game, set for Friday, March 15 at 1:10 p.m. PT against the San Diego Padres.

The debut of Spring Breakout will showcase baseball’s future stars, as each Major League Club will field a team of top prospects to play a team of top prospects from another organization in an exhibition game.

Eleven players on the roster featured, played and ended their season with the Modesto Nuts in 2023.

The roster features 21 of the Mariners’ top-30 prospects according to, including each of their top-10 prospects: #1 Cole Young, #2 Harry Ford, #3 Colt Emerson, #4 Lazaro Montes, #5 Felnin Celesten, #6 Jonny Farmelo, #7 Tai Peete, #8 Tyler Locklear, #9 Michael Arroyo and #10 Jonatan Clase.

Who will be with Modesto in 2024? Get an early look at the future stars on March 15th.

The Mariners Spring Breakout game will be televised live from Peoria Stadium on ROOT Sports with Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers on the call, as well as broadcast live on Seattle Sports (710 AM) with Dave Sims and Gary Hill Jr. on the call. The game will also be televised live on MLB Network.