Major League Baseball (MLB) has 19 full-time umpire crews, and Blue Hombres Angel Hernández, Laz Díaz, Alfonso Marquez, Manny Gonzalez, Carlos Torres and Gabe Morales are regulars on six different crews so far early in the first weeks of the 2017 season.
Additionally, Puerto Rican-turned-Floridian Roberto Ortiz made his 2017 debut as a call-up on Tom Hallion's crew on April 19, working second base in a night game at Yankee Stadium, where the Pinstripes routed the visiting Chicago White Sox, 9-1. The next evening, after boarding a flight to Milwaukee and despite a serious head cold that began his week in an International League (IL) game in Durham, N. Car., on April 16, he stayed at second base on Ted Barrett's crew, as the Brewers hosted the St. Louis Cardinals in a National Central contest. Ortiz's permanent contract this season is with the AAA IL, so the call-up rejoined his three-man IL crew for an April 21 night game at Lehigh Valley, making an air connection to the eastern Pennsylvania via a long layover in Detroit. The next day -- in the nightcap of a Toledo-at-Lehigh doubleheader, Ortiz called balls and strikes, efficiently completing plate duties in only two hours and eight minutes, in the second of two seven-inning contests.
The second of three Blue Hombres on the regular IL arbiter roster this season, Venezuelan Roberto Moreno, started the week on the bases in an all-Upstate New York doubleheader -- one game a make-up of a rain delay -- pitting host Rochester against Syracuse on April 19. Moreno finished the same week on April 22 in a 1-0 shutout of the Indianapolis Indians by the invading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders -- the second consecutive day of the exact-same result.
IL rookie umpire Charlie Ramos, a Blue Hombre from Marshall, Mich., who worked the AA Eastern League in 2016, was at second base on a four-man crew that handled a mid-week series in which the Syracuse Chiefs faced the visiting Toledo Mud Hens. Moreno, meanwhile, also did a four-man simultaneous stint in Indianapolis, which faced the Durham Bulls.
Week-ending activity for IL Blue Hombres started on April 21 at Norfolk, where visiting Syracuse's three pitchers combined for a five-hit, 14-strikeout shutout over the Tides, with Ramos behind the plate and doing the job in just two hours and 17 minutes. He was at third base April 22 in the Chiefs' 9-4 victory over Norfolk.
Moreno also officiated an April 21 blank job -- at second base, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre defeated host Indianapolis, 1-0.