The Taos Blizzard baseball team has had a busy off-season. After signing a two-year extension to stay in Taos, the Blizzard have designed new hats, new jerseys and recently hired a new manager to lead the team: Chris Tuttle.
Tuttle pitched the last couple of seasons in the Pecos League for the Trinidad Triggers. Now, with the league’s new age limit making it a 25-and-under, rookie-level league, Tuttle is switching gears to coach instead of play.
“I’m excited. It’s my first year managing pro ball, but it’s nothing new. I’ve been coaching for the last five or six years,” Tuttle said. “Not playing is the biggest change.”
Tuttle said his goals are to win as many games as possible, get to the playoffs and win a championship. Another goal is to help guys get promoted to higher leagues , including, affiliated ball. Recently Chris Costanino, who played third base for Taos, Roswell and then in the CanAm League, signed with the Atlanta Braves organization.
Tuttle also wants to get as much support from the community as possible.
“Community involvement makes a huge difference,” Tuttle said. “It helps players do better and gets them excited.”
The team’s new jerseys will be real, button-down jerseys this season, opposed to the dry-fit ones they wore during the team’s inaugural season.
“We’ll look the part of a professional ball club,” Tuttle said. “Little things like that do make a difference.”
This weekend Tuttle will be in Houston holding a tryout for the team and begin building the foundation for next season’s roster. Pitchers, catchers and other positions up the middle, will be key to a solid foundation, he said.
The Blizzard will play a minimum of 30 games in Taos next season — over twice as many as last year.
“Everything is moving up,” Tuttle said. “The thing I’m looking forward to most is playing under the lights.”
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