Albie Lopez Joins Coaching Staff Of White Sands Pupfish

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An interesting development was announced by the Pecos League’s website this week.  Former MLB pitcher, Albie Lopez, joined the White Sands Pupfish of the Pecos League.  He will serve as the team’s pitching coach for the 2013 season.

This is of interest to those who follow the lower-level independent minor leagues because:

  • He pitched in the North American League in 2011, coached/managed the Sonoma County Grapes of the 2012 North American League “Northern Division”, is going to coach under the current Pupfish manager (Ernie Munoz) who played for him last year, and is now a pitching coach in the Pecos League
  • Lopez was named as a party interested in bringing a team back to Mesa, Arizona for the upstart American West Baseball League earlier this summer


Obviously a few questions remain such as:

  • At the time of this post, Lopez is still on the Sonoma County Grapes website (  No new field staff changes have yet been announced
  • Is there another party looking at bringing a team to Mesa in the American West Baseball League
  • How will Lopez’ experience help the pitching in the Pecos League to have them move more players into affiliated baseball

Here is the article on the Pecos League’s site:


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  1. 1) activity on the NAL web sites, including the team sites hasn’t budged since the end of the season! the league site since the season started! so do not take that as any sign of movement in the NAL…decline probably, and death an even stronger possibility. Gee, how I miss the stability of the old Golden League…Pat Sajak and all.

    2) the American West site isn’t showing much signs of life either, and Mesa is not even suggested on it as a possible indy team site again. The Golden League tried that with the Mesa Miners, and I think they barely finished the season. It has proven to be really hard to put other teams up against the Diamondbacks around Phoenix. Only the support of MLB through the Arizona Fall League has been “successful,” if that it what you want to call a couple hundred payers per game. AWB has to show more signs of life…like where does that stadium in Fullerton stand now? Where will Long Beach play? Even ownership and logos in Yuma have changed twice already!!

    3) Lopez coming to the Pecos may mean that this league can no longer be considered an instructional league…that it may well be closer to the competition in at least the United Division of the NAL.

    And if you noticed even casually, the Pecos site now sports 10 caps across the top banner. So be expecting a 10 team unbalanced league schedule of some sort to be arriving soon. Commissioner Dunn’s target date has been for November 15. But I can wait a while longer if he needs to nail down this schedule so that it remains a solid sales entity. The fly in the ointment is Taos only supporting 20-25 home games because of lack of lighting for this season. They will be on the road a lot, and their competitiveness will be questionable, being supplied with the GM and players from the New York State college league, that did poorly as a one-time experiment in the CanAm.

    Nevertheless, a 10 team league expanding from 6 in a year’s time could be a ray of hope to the indy scene. Will the AL notice? NOT!!

  2. Horrible scheduling so far by the Pecos commish. He is in a rut sticking to four-game series. The math will never come out balanced or fair! I hope he’s far from done. He has some teams playing 3 series, and no play between a few others. And NO days off!! Who wants that??

    He should drop from 72 games to 68. Each team from one division has one four game series with each of the other division teams. Then 12 games with each of the same division rivals; two 3-game series both home and away. That is already four less motel nights! And all of the trips within the divisions will be much shorter this year.

    Taos is the problem with no lights, but they can road all their games to the southern division teams, and the league will have to pay that. If they only play 24 home games, THEN the other teams in their division get an extra home series. It’s really NOT rocket science.

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