ALBUQUERQUE – In previous seasons, the Albuquerque Isotopes have been all about power.
The Isotopes, the Triple-A franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have long been built to slug it out with the high-scoring teams of the Pacific Coast League.
This season, however, the Isotopes may have to find other ways to win.
Albuquerque will open its 11th season at home Thursday night when it takes on the Iowa Cubs. Game time is 6:35 p.m.
The Isotopes will host the Cubs for four games, followed by a four-game set against Omaha to start the 2013 season.
It’s a new-look Isotopes this season and third-year skipper Lorenzo Bundy is hoping to improve on a playoff berth and opening-round loss to Omaha in the 2012 postseason.
But gone from that team are two of its biggest performers off last season, slugger Jerry Sands and hurler John Ely, the PCL Pitcher of the Year.
The star of this team is Dee Gordon, although for how long Gordon will be with the Isotopes is a matter of some conjecture.
Gordon, a shortstop, appeared in 87 games with the Dodgers, hitting .228 during that time. Going into 2013, it was unknown whether Gordon would return to the Isotopes, where he’s played off-and-on since 2011.