PCL notes: Buss travels to other side

Just after changing organizations, River Cats outfielder faces 'Topes

Nick Buss played 157 games for Albuquerque and six games to date for Sacramento. (Kenny Karst/MiLB.com)

By Chris Jackson / Special to MiLB.com | May 12, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Baseball players change teams all the time, but it is rare for a player to wind up facing his old club on his first day in a new uniform.

Yet that is exactly what happened to outfielder Nick Buss, who was on the Albuquerque Isotopes at the start of May and then an Isotopes opponent less than one week later.

Buss was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on May 1, claimed by the Athletics on May 4 and then suited up for the Sacramento River Cats on May 6 in Albuquerque against the Isotopes.

"It's a little unique, especially having the first game be against your old team," Buss said. "But it was a pretty fun game. It was a little bit strange seeing [pitcher] Red Patterson out there and seeing all the guys I played with in the field. But it was all good."

Buss was a Pacific Coast League All-Star last season when he hit .303 with 17 home runs and a league-leading 100 RBIs for the Isotopes. But in an organization flush with outfielders, Buss found himself repeating Triple-A without much of a chance to move up.

"It's good for Chili," said Isotopes pitcher Stephen Fife, referring to Buss by his second middle name. "We have a lot of outfielders ahead of him [and] we have Joc Pederson kind of waiting in the wings as well. With the position he's in here, maybe as a sixth- or seventh-option guy, it's a really good opportunity for him to get out of here."

Buss agreed he should have a better chance to get back to the Majors with the A's than the Dodgers, but nothing is guaranteed.

"Yeah, in a sense it probably is," Buss said. "But you never know how anything is going to shake out until it's over. Honestly, I'm just taking it a day at a time and if it works out, that's great. I'm just trying to make the best of it."

Buss did not have to travel far to join his new team. While he was waiting for waivers to be processed, Buss said he visited his brother in Marina del Rey, California, before coming back to Albuquerque.

"That was probably the most unique part, having the days off, the down time where I was basically in limbo, doing nothing. I went home and then came back, and right when I got back, I found out I got picked up by the A's and came and joined them."

Buss met his new teammates as they got off the bus at Isotopes Park on May 6. He then went 3-for-12 with two RBIs in four games against the Isotopes.

"Honestly, that's probably the toughest part was you get used to playing with a group of guys -- there are some guys I've been with since 2008 over there -- it's very unique to be on the other side of the field," Buss said.

In brief

Chasing relief: Omaha lefty reliever Donnie Joseph had a string of six straight scoreless outings snapped Friday when he gave up a run against Round Rock, but still earned the victory. In those previous six appearances, the Royals' No. 13 prospect had allowed just one hit while striking out 13 batters in 7 1/3 innings.

Express delivery: Round Rock right-hander Nick Tepesch skipped the PCL last season, save for one start, en route to going 4-6 with the Texas Rangers. Crowded out of Texas' rotation, Tepesch is doing his best to prove he deserves another shot, going 6-1 with a 1.58 ERA in his first seven starts this year for the Express.

Seeking a sting: No. 2 Angels prospect Taylor Lindsey is still trying to catch fire for Salt Lake. The second baseman has hit just .247 with four home runs and 18 RBIs, though he nearly has many walks (17) as strikeouts (20).

Chris Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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