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Isotopes lose two key players before homestand

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The Albuquerque Isotopes had the day off Wednesday. That did not stop them from suffering two major losses.

First baseman Clint Robinson was recalled by the Los Angeles Dodgers to bolster a thin bench. Robinson takes the roster spot of former Isotope Jamie Romak, who was designated for assignment so the Dodgers could add Robinson to the 40-man roster.

While that news was unexpected, the other news of the day was expected. Center fielder Joc Pederson will miss 10 days or more with a separated right shoulder.

Pederson injured himself diving for a flyball against the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday. He was removed from the game in the first inning in obvious discomfort.

No replacements were named to Albuquerque's roster on Wednesday. The losses of Robinson and Pederson have reduced the team to just four active infielders and three outfielders, and none of the infielders has much experience at first base.

Pederson has been the Isotopes' most consistent offensive threat this season. He leads the team in on-base percentage (.437), runs (58), home runs (17), walks (57) and stolen bases (20).

Robinson earned his promotion based on a recent hot streak. He has hit .417/.522/.611 with two home runs and 10 RBI in his last 10 games.

Overall, the former Royals farmhand has hit .309/.402/.523 with 14 home runs and a team-leading 56 RBI. Robinson did get four at-bats with Kansas City in 2012, going hitless and striking out twice.

The candidates from Double-A Chattanooga to replace Pederson and Robinson on the roster are not terribly appealing. The Lookouts have struggled mightily with the bats all season.

Chattanooga has mainly used fringe prospect O'Koyea Dickson (.249/.332/.443, 11 HR, 45 RBI) at first base. Since Romak is expected to clear waivers and Robinson may not be up for long, the Dodgers could opt to move veteran Aaron Bates to Albuquerque. Bates has gone 2-for-9 in seven games since coming off the disabled list.

Among outfielders, one obvious call-up candidate is Albuquerque native Brian Cavazos-Galvez, who started the year with the Isotopes before being sent down. Cavazos-Galvez, who has also played first base, has struggled (.227/.261/.330, 2 HR, 20 RBI) with the Lookouts.

Albuquerque opens a five-games-in-four-days series with Reno on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Former Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell (3-1, 5.21 ERA) is expected to start for the Aces, while the Isotopes have not named a starter.

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