Albuquerque Isotopes third baseman Alex Liddi walked onto the field for batting practice at Isotopes Park on Saturday and was surprised by what he saw on the video board. There, larger than life, were his Italian countrymen playing a World Cup match against England.
"I was happy, I didn't think when I was hitting I would get a chance to watch it," Liddi, a native of San Remo, Italy, said on Sunday. "They looked really good. They won (2-1), but I don't know as much about soccer as I do about baseball. I just know they can win this competition."
Liddi was jubilant Saturday when Italy's Claudio Marchisio scored in the 35th minute to put his squad ahead. When England's Daniel Sturridge tied the game two minutes later, Liddi temporarily left the field up the tunnel to the clubhouse. Batting practice ended before Mario Balotelli scored the game-winner in the 50th minute, so Liddi's reaction was only seen by his teammates.
Regardless, Liddi has just been happy to have a team to play for again. He was released by Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) after batting just .171/.203/.303 in 22 games.
The Dodgers signed Liddi and sent him to Albuquerque, where he has become a fixture at third base. Liddi is still searching for some consistency (.231/.326/.410, 3 HR, 7 RBI) at the plate, but he has been solid in the field.
"It's been fun, I like the team, the players we have, I've been enjoying it so far," Liddi said. "I knew some people here. They give (me) more confidence in myself. I've been playing a lot more. I like it a lot."
New Orleans starter shake-up
The Zephyrs switched up their starting rotation again. Right-hander Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.76 ERA) will start Sunday after originally having been schedule for Monday.
Lefty Brian Flynn (6-4, 3.14) will now start Monday. Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 3.38) will be skipped in the rotation just like fellow prospect Andrew Heaney (3-0, 2.74) in an effort to limit their innings.
Prior to their arrival in Albuquerque, the Zephyrs had originally scheduled Flynn for Monday, but bumped him back after lefty Brad Hand arrived for a rehab start. Things changed again even after Hand's successful start Saturday night.
The Isotopes will still go with right-hander Sam Demel (1-2, 6.97) on Sunday. Fellow right-hander Carlos Frias (3-4, 6.19) will go Monday afternoon.
Around the Lab
Infielder Delvis Morales officially joined the roster Sunday afternoon. He takes the roster spot of infielder Carlos Triunfel, who was called up by the Dodgers on Saturday. ... Catcher Tim Federowicz has still not arrived from Los Angeles, which will necessitate another roster move. He was sent down when A.J. Ellis was activated Friday. Federowicz has 72 hours to report.