By virtue of his leading the Albuquerque Isotopes to the cusp of the Pacific Coast League postseason, skipper Lorenzo Bundy has been named PCL Manager of the Year by vote of his fellow managers and media representatives. Bundy is the second Isotopes manager in team history to receive the honor and the fourth Albuquerque skipper to take home the accolade since it was created in 1967.
Under Bundy's steady leadership, the Isotopes are 77-63 entering play on Friday, three wins shy of equaling a franchise record, and have held a share of first place in the PCL's American Southern Division for the last 41 days. With a magic number of three, the 'Topes can clinch just their third division title in team history this weekend. Bundy's 'Topes have been especially tough at home, racking up a franchise-record 45 wins with four more still to play at Isotopes Park. As the summer heated up, so did the Isotopes, as Albuquerque enjoyed its best June in team history, going 16-12 before posting a 17-11 record in the month of July.
Albuquerque's enjoyed success this season in part because of Bundy's consistent approach, even when the roster has been anything but consistent. This season the 'Topes have had 142 separate roster moves, including 26 since August 10. Bundy has sent 13 different players to Los Angeles to play for the Dodgers in 2012, with six making their Major League debuts, the most for an Isotopes team.
This is the first Manager of the Year award for Bundy, who is in his 11th season as a manager and his fourth campaign in the PCL with a stop in Las Vegas in 2007-08. He joins Tim Wallach (2009) as the only Isotopes skippers to earn PCL Manager of the Year honors. Terry Collins (1988) and Kevin Kennedy (1990) each won the accolade as manager of the Dukes.
It's been a week packed with awards for the 'Topes, who are enjoying their most decorated season to date. Four Isotopes earned selection to the All-PCL team on Monday, a franchise-first, and starter John Ely on Wednesday became the first Isotope in team history to win the league's Pitcher of the Year award.