Roster turnover is inevitable in Triple-A baseball. But being Houston's Triple-A affiliate the revolving door never stops which changes the dynamics in the RedHawks' pursuit of a playoff berth.
Oklahoma City opens a five-game series Friday night with Albuquerque, the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A affiliate. Those five games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark could impact which team wins the American Southern division.
OKC owned a two-game lead over the Isotopes heading into Thursday night's action. Including Friday's series opener, both teams have 19 games remaining.
“Head-to-head is huge,” said RedHawks manager Tony DeFranseco. “When you have the lead they're chasing you. That puts pressure on them to try and sweep us or win at least four of the five. Right now we're in good position.”
DeFranseco and his staff are in a pennant race with a revamped roster.
Ten of Houston's current 13 pitchers, including all but one in the rotation, spent time with the RedHawks. Most of the Astros' bullpen spent time in OKC.
“That's what player development is all about,” DeFranseco said. “Some of the young guys are getting a chance in Houston. A lot of them have been doing a nice job.
“We're concerned with the guys here. They've stepped up. Overall we've been playing good baseball for an extended period other the tail end of this road trip.”
In the five-game series against Albuquerque, the RedHawks will start:
David Martinez, a 26-year-old right-hander who has spent most of the season in Double-A.