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February 2019
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‘Minor League Baseball’ Articles

MLB suspends three minor leaguers for violation of drug policies



Jan. 25th, 2019


The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced a couple days ago that three Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Cincinnati Reds Minor League pitcher Junior Harding, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Arizona League Reds, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Methylphenidate, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

Minnesota Twins Minor League pitcher Alex Schick, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

Baltimore Orioles Minor League outfielder Trey Whitley, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Program.


Dayton Dragons to have tryouts for National Anthem Singers




Registration Is Open


DAYTON, OHIO—A traditional sign that baseball season is just around the corner in the Miami Valley is National Anthem Tryouts, presented by the Dayton Daily News. Tryouts for national anthem performers for the 2019 season will take place on Saturday, February 23 from 11 AM to 6 PM at the Dayton Mall.


Finalists will perform the national anthem at Dragons games throughout the season, with the grand prize winner performing on Opening Day 2019 before the Dragons host the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fifth Third Field on Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 PM.


Pre-registration is now underway at The first 240 entrants who pre-register for this event will receive a scheduled tryout time. In the event that all the allotted spots are filled, you could still have a chance to perform at the tryouts on a standby basis.


To register as a stand-by performer, you must come to the Saturday, February 23 tryouts at the Dayton Mall. You will receive a stand-by number that will be called when a spot becomes available. Standby performers are not guaranteed a chance to tryout so, interested performers are strongly encouraged to sign up at


A panel of local citizens including media personalities, city officials, and community leaders will be judging the event. The panel will make its selections based on voice quality, creative style, stage presence, and appearance.


More Information:  The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling at (937) 228-2287, emailing at, or on the web



Cubs announce 2019 Minor League Coordinators



The Chicago Cubs last week announced their minor league coordinators for the 2019 season.

Jeremy Farrell begins his first year as the organization’s minor league field coordinator and his fourth as a coach with the organization. He last season was the minor league infield coordinator following two seasons as a hitting coach, first with Rookie League Mesa in 2016 and then with Single-A South Bend in 2017. Farrell enjoyed a seven-year minor league playing career as an infielder in the Pirates (2008-12) and White Sox (2013-15) farm systems. His brother, Shane, is a regional supervisor in the amateur scouting department.

Brendan Sagara returns for his second season as minor league pitching coordinator. He was a coach or coordinator in the Marlins system for six seasons from 2012-17, and has served as a pitching coach or coordinator for 18 seasons with various teams, beginning with the Dubois County Dragons of the Frontier League in 2001. A native of Hawaii, he attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Chris Valaika begins his first season as minor league hitting coordinator after serving as Triple-A Iowa’s assistant hitting coach in 2018. Now in his third year as a coach or coordinator in the Cubs system, Valaika had a 10-year playing career, including parts of four seasons in the majors with the Reds (2010-11), Marlins (2013) and the Cubs (2014). Valaika was selected by Cincinnati in the third round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Jonathan Mota starts his first year as minor league infield coordinator, and his fourth season as a coach or coordinator with the organization. He last year managed the Rookie League Mesa 2 squad following coaching duties with Single-A South Bend in 2017. Mota played in the Cubs system from 2004-15 after he was originally signed by the club in August of 2003.

Doug Dascenzo is in his fifth year as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator, bringing with 20 years of coaching experience. He played parts of seven seasons in the majors, including five with the Cubs (1988-92). He coached in the Padres system from 1999-2011, including six seasons as a minor league manager, before coaching in the Braves system from 2012-14, including third base coach for the big league team in 2014.

Dave Keller begins his 16th year in the organization and his fifth as minor league Latin America field coordinator. He brings with 34 years of minor league coaching and managerial experience, and managed three clubs to championship series appearances, including a Florida State League title with Single-A Daytona in 2013. The former first baseman played in the Reds chain for three seasons (1982-84) after Cincinnati selected him in the 28th round of the 1982 Draft.

Mike Mason is in his 12th year in the system and his sixth as minor league assistant pitching coordinator, bringing with over 25 years of coaching experience. He served as Triple-A Iowa’s pitching coach from 2008-13 after serving four seasons as the Royals minor league pitching coordinator from 2004-07. Mason played seven major league seasons with Texas (1982-87), the Cubs (1987) and Minnesota (1988), posting a 29-39 record with a 4.53 ERA.

Carlos Chantres begins his first year with the organization as minor league assistant pitching coordinator and his 14th as a coach, coordinator or special assistant. He spent the past two years with Atlanta, including as a special assistant to player development in 2018, after stints coaching in the Tigers (2015) and Mariners (2016) chains. Chantres spent nine seasons coaching in the Yankees system (2006-14) after 12 minor league seasons (1994-2005) pitching with the
White Sox (1994-2000), Brewers (2001), Devil Rays (2002) and Phillies (2004-05) organizations.

Tom Beyers starts his 20th season in the Cubs organization and his fifth as assistant hitting coordinator. He joined Chicago in 2000 following 21 seasons in the Dodgers minor league system as a player, coach and manager. Beyers managed nine seasons in both the Dodgers and Cubs chains, and he led Single-A Boise to a Northwest League title in 2004. Beyers, a former outfielder, was selected by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 1979 Draft.

Chuck Baughman enters his 19th year with the Cubs and his second as the head minor league athletic training coordinator. He was assistant athletic training coordinator from 2014-17 following eight years as a rehabilitation coordinator. His career in professional baseball began in 1999 when he an athletic training in Cincinnati’s organization.

Doug Jarrow is in his 12th season as Chicago’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. He worked in the Dodgers system from 2003-07, including 2006-07 as the major league strength coach. Jarrow began his career as a minor league strength and conditioning coach with Tampa Bay in 1998 and Pittsburgh in 1999.

Jon Fierro is in his eighth year with the organization and his second as the club’s rehab coordinator. From 2012-17 he was an athletic trainer in the system, including 2017 with Triple-A Iowa.

Ron Villone starts his eighth season as a coach in the Cubs organization, returning as the team’s minor league rehab pitching coordinator for the fourth season. He served as a pitching coach at various levels from 2012-15. A left-handed pitcher, he played in 15 major league seasons from 1995-2009, going 61-65 with eight saves and a 4.73 ERA.

Josh Lifrak is in his fifth season as the organization’s director, mental skills program following 10 years as the Senior Mental Conditioning Consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island in 1994 and earned his Masters of Science, Exercise Science in 2005 from Ithaca College.

David Da Silva starts his second year as coordinator, mental skills after nine years as a mental conditioning consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New Hampshire College/Southern New Hampshire University in 2000 and earned a Master of Science in Movement Science from Barry University in 2003.

Ray Fuentes begins his seventh season in the organization, and his fifth as Latin coordinator, mental skills program. He graduated from Barry University in 2002 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education.

John Baker is in his fourth season as a mental skills coordinator after joining the Cubs front office in November of 2015 as a baseball operations assistant. He played seven major league seasons with Florida (2008-11), San Diego (2012-13) and the Cubs (2014).

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Chicago Cubs announce 2019 Minor League Staffs



The Chicago Cubs recently announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2019 season. Four managers return to their same teams as last season while all nine managers were in Chicago’s organization last year. A detailed list of each club’s managers and coaching staffs are included on the following page, and more information on returning members of the organization may be found on pages 198-222 of the Chicago Cubs 2018 Media Guide.

Marty Pevey returns for his 11th season in the organization and his seventh as manager for Triple-A Iowa and brings with over 30 years of professional experience, beginning with 13 years as a player. He was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year with Single-A Peoria.

Mark Johnson begins his fourth season as Double-A Tennessee’s manager, and his ninth in the organization. Johnson’s clubs have reached the postseason in four of his first eight minor league managerial campaigns, including a Midwest League title with Single-A Kane County in 2014 and a Mills Cup Championship with Single-A Myrtle Beach in 2015.

Jimmy Gonzalez takes the helm of Single-A Myrtle Beach following four seasons managing Single-A South Bend. The 2016 Midwest League Manager of the Year with South Bend, Gonzalez was Rookie League Mesa’s manager in 2014 following a season as the club’s hitting coach.

Buddy Bailey begins his first season as manager at Single-A South Bend following three campaigns as manager for Myrtle Beach. He enters his 31st season as a minor league manager with 2,064 regular season victories, and in 2017 became just the 11th minor league manager to reach the 2,000-win plateau.

Steven Lerud starts his second season as manager for Single-A Eugene after guiding the Emeralds to the 2018 Northwest League Championship in his first career managerial or coaching stint. He played 13 minor league seasons from 2004-16 and appeared in nine major league games with the Phillies in 2012-13.

Carmelo Martinez is in his 22nd season in the Cubs organization, and returns to manage Rookie League Mesa for the fifth-straight year. The team has reached the Arizona League playoffs each of the last four seasons. Martinez is a former outfielder/first baseman who played in the majors from 1983-91, seeing action with the Cubs in 1983.

Lance Rymel is the manager of the club’s second Rookie League Mesa team after two seasons managing the organization’s Dominican Summer League club. He began his coaching career in 2016 as Mesa’s rehab coach following a three-year minor league playing career as a catcher in the Cubs chain from 2012-14.

Leo Perez takes over as manager for the first of Chicago’s two Dominican Summer League teams, and is in his 11th season in the organization. He served as a coach in Mesa each of the previous two seasons and was a coach with Iowa in 2016. He played in the Cubs farm system from 2003-08.

Carlos Ramirez will manage the second Dominican Summer League team and is in his fourth season with the organization. He was a coach for the Dominican League club the previous three years following three seasons as a catcher in the system from 2012-14.

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Braves announce 2019 Minor League Coaching Staffs



The Atlanta Braves, earlier in January, announced the organization’s minor league coaching staffs and roving staffs for the 2019 season.

Damon Berryhill will return for his third consecutive season as Triple-A Gwinnett’s manager, and he will be joined on the bench by pitching coach Mike Maroth, hitting coach Bobby Magallanes and coach Einar Díaz. Maroth served in the same role with Single-A Florida last season, while Magallanes was a coach for Cleveland’s Triple-A club in Columbus during 2018. Díaz spent last season on Baltimore’s major league coaching staff. Trainer Nick Jensen returns for his second season with the Stripers.

Double-A Mississippi will return manager Chris Maloney for 2019, who is in his second season on the M-Braves’ bench. Pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn, hitting coach Carlos Mendez and 2018 Southern League Athletic Trainer of the Year T.J. Saunders all will return in the same roles. Coach Alfredo Amezaga will make his coaching debut after a 19-year playing career that included time at the major league level in parts of nine different seasons.

Single-A Florida will feature a new manager this season, as Barrett Kleinknect will take over after serving as rookie-level Danville’s skipper last season. Kleinknect started his managerial career in 2017 with the rookie-level GCL Braves before moving to the D-Braves last season. Dan Meyer will serve as the FireFrogs’ pitching coach after working in the same capacity with Rome last season, while Doug DeVore, who appeared in 50 games with Arizona in 2004, will make his coaching debut as the club’s hitting coach. Coach Porky López reprises his role on the bench and trainer Dave Comeau will work his third consecutive season with the FireFrogs.

Former major league outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo will make his coaching debut as Single-A Rome’s manager after retiring from playing following last season. Tuiasosopo, who played three games with Atlanta in 2016, will be joined on the bench by pitching coach Kanekoa Texeira, hitting coach Bobby Moore, and coach Wigberto Nevarez. Eric Hrycko will work as the club’s trainer.

Anthony Nuñez will make his managerial debut with Single-A Danville, after working as a coach on Rome’s staff last season. Former Cleveland Indians left-handed pitcher Jason Stanford will serve as the club’s pitching coach, while Danny Santiesteban will be the club’s hitting coach after working in the same role for the DSL Braves in 2018. Coach Connor Narron is set for his coaching debut after retiring from his playing career following 2016. Trainer Koji Kanemura joins the staff as the trainer in his first year in the organization.
The rookie-level GCL Braves will return manager Nestor Pérez, pitching coach Elvin Nina and hitting coach Rick Albert from their 2018 staff, along with adding Barbaro Garbey as a second hitting coach and coach Angel Flores. Austin Smith will be the club’s new trainer.

Jefferson Romero will serve as the DSL Braves’ manager for the second consecutive season, and he will be joined on the bench by pitching coach José Rodríguez, hitting coaches Omar Rosario and Elvis De La Cruz Peña. Hector Astacio will work as the assistant pitching coach and Jesus Aviles will serve as the team’s trainer.

Doug Mansolino will serve as the organization’s new field coordinator, after he spent the last five seasons in the same position with the Philadelphia Phillies. Dave Wallace (director of pitching), Derrick Lewis (pitching coordinator), Mike Brumley (hitting coordinator), Jeff Datz (catching coordinator), Adam Everett (infield coordinator), John “T-Bone” Shelby (outfielder/baserunning coordinator) and Mike Schofield (minor league strength and conditioning coordinator) all will reprise their 2018 roles next season, while Ryan Driscoll will work as the club’s assistant minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.

Read more: Atlanta Braves


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