Although Aces Ballpark may be covered in snow right now, the team is anxious to get started and defend it’s title in 2013. The Aces beat Pawtucket (Red Sox affiliate) in the Triple-A Championship last season. It marked the second Triple-A championship in Diamondbacks history and the first to be won in Reno (Tucson Sidewinders captured the title in 2006). The Aces are now the team to be reckoned with, not only in the Pacific Coast League, but in all of Class AAA baseball as well.
Former MLB All-Star, Brett Butler will return as manager of the team in 2013, his fifth with the Aces. Some thought that Butler might have a spot on the Diamondbacks coaching staff this year, but the big club revealed that Brett will be staying with the boys in northwestern Nevada. Butler was regarded as the “Best Mangerial Prospect” in Baseball America’s “Best Tools” issue in 2012 and spent 17 seasons in the major leagues.
The Aces will still be a force in the PCL, but don’t be surprised if the team looks a little different this season. Mike Jacobs, who played a big role in the PCL playoffs in 2012 has been invited to spring training in Peoria with the Mariners. Jacobs belted four home runs and hit .273 during the postseason. Outfielder Cole Gillespie will also not be with Reno in 2013. The young outfielder was released by the D’Backs organization in September after undergoing surgery in late August. Prior to his injury, Cole hit .308 with Reno and earned a Minor League Gold Glove. Gillespie will likely see the field in Scottsdale this spring with the Giants.
Not everyone can make the big club this year in Arizona and with a plentiful roster coming in this spring, the Aces look to reload with great talent. The Diamondbacks organization has always been an active one, so it will be exciting to see the young talent moving from Mobile to Reno as well to help the Aces defend their crown. If having a good baseball team in Reno isn’t a big enough draw for fans, Aces Ballpark will also host the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game for the first time.
The Reno Aces open up 2013 in the mile-high air of Colorado Springs to play the Sky Sox (Rockies affiliate) and are at home for their 2013 debut on April 12th against the Sacramento River Cats.