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Archive for February 12th, 2018

Gene Lamont, one of baseball’s top 3rd base coaches, hired by Royals as a Special Assistant

 

Gene Lamont 2013 photo By GabboT, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Kansas City Royals announced recently that they have hired former big league manager and coach, Gene Lamont, as a Special Assistant to the General Manager. Lamont previously served as a minor league manager in the Royals’ organization, from 1978-85.

“We are delighted that Gene will be joining the Royals as a member of our baseball operations department” said Royals Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager Dayton Moore. “He has a wealth of experience and will be a strong addition to our organization.”

Lamont, who returns to the organization where he served as a minor league manager in the late 70′s and early 80′s, spent the last 11 seasons on the Detroit Tigers’ coaching staff. He was the third base coach (2006-12) and bench coach (2013-17), under both Jim Leyland and Brad Ausmus.

His Major League career includes managerial stops with the Chicago White Sox (1992-95) and Pittsburgh (1997-2000), where he compiled a 553-562 overall record. He guided the White Sox to the American League West title in 1993 and was named the AL Manager of the Year following the season. Lamont’s other big league coaching experience includes stops in Pittsburgh (1986-91, 1996), Boston (2001) and Houston (2002-04), serving as the third base coach each place.

Lamont began his managerial career with the Class-A Fort Myers (Fla.) Royals in 1978, before managing four seasons with Double-A Jacksonville (1980-83) and two with the Triple-A Omaha Royals (1984-85).

A first-round selection by the Tigers in the 1965 First-Year Player Draft, Lamont played 13 seasons of professional baseball, including 12 in Detroit’s organization. The left-handed hitting catcher reached the big leagues with the Tigers in 1970 and played in parts of five Major League seasons (1970-72, 74-75). The 2018 season will mark Lamont’s 54th year in professional baseball.

Lamont and his wife, Melody, reside in Sarasota, Fla., during the offseason. The couple has two adult children, Melissa and Wade.

Read more: Kansas City Royals
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ROYALS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Royals announce 2018 Minor League coaching assignments

The Kansas City Royals have announced their 2018 minor league staff assignments and minor league coordinators for the upcoming season.

Affiliates:

Omaha manager Brian Poldberg returns to lead the Storm Chasers for a fifth season, including the 2014 Triple-A championship in his first year. He will be joined on the bench by pitching coach, Andy Hawkins, who is returning to Omaha for his third season after serving as the bullpen coach of the Texas Rangers the previous seven seasons. Brian Buchanan will serve as Omaha’s hitting coach after a one-year stint as the Royals’ Major League assistant hitting coach. Buchanan is entering his ninth year in the organization, including a six-year run as manager at Idaho Falls (2010-11), Kane County (2012), Lexington (2013-14) and Wilmington (2015), and one year as the hitting coach at Northwest Arkansas. Dave Iannicca will return as the club’s certified athletic trainer for the eighth straight season, and Phil Falco will return for his second season as the strength and conditioning coach after serving in the same role at the Major League level with the Atlanta Braves for the previous nine seasons.

Northwest Arkansas will welcome a new manager, as Mike Rojas, son of Royals Hall of Famer, Cookie Rojas, joins the organization after spending last season as the manager of Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate. He previously served as the Major League bullpen coach with the Seattle Mariners from 2014-15 and with the Detroit Tigers from June, 2011 through 2013. He began his managerial career in 1992 with the Chicago White Sox, and has managed at every level in the minor leagues since, while working for the White Sox, Astros, Reds and Tigers organizations. Steve Luebber will return as pitching coach for the third straight season after serving in the same role at Advanced-A Wilmington for the previous nine years. Leon Robertsenters his second season as the Naturals hitting coach. Roberts played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues as an outfielder, including his last two seasons (1983-84) in Kansas City. Certified athletic trainer Masa Koyanagi will return for his 11th season with the Royals and seventh in his current role. Jarret Abell will return for his second season as the Naturals’ strength and conditioning coach after serving in the same role at Advanced-A Wilmington (2016), Class-A Lexington (2015) and Rookie level Idaho Falls (2014).

Wilmington will welcome back manager Darryl Kennedy, who previously managed the Blue Rocks in 2008 and 2014, and managed the Royals’ Arizona League team in Surprise from 2015-17. He will be joined on the bench by new pitching coach Doug Henry, who enters his 11th year in the Royals’ organization, including the last five as the Major League bullpen coach. Abraham Nunez returns to the Blue Rocks for his fourth season as hitting coach, while Chris Widger will serve as bench coach for the third consecutive season. James Stone enters his seventh year as the club’s certified athletic trainer. Will Gilmore will return for his second year as strength and conditioning coach, after serving in the same role at Class-A Lexington (2016) and Rookie level Idaho Falls (2015).

Lexington will be led by Scott Thorman, who is in his second year as manager, after managing at Rookie level Burlington from 2015-16. Mitch Stetter will serve as the club’s pitching coach for the third straight season. Jesus Azuaje will return for his second season as Lexington’s hitting coach, after serving in the same role with Burlington from 2015-16. Bench coach Glenn Hubbard enters his fifth season in his position with Lexington. Certified athletic trainer, Saburo Hagihara, and strength and conditioning coach, Jon Ervin, will also return for their second seasons with the Legends after previously working in those same roles at Burlington.

Idaho Falls will be led by manager Omar Ramirez, who enters his 10th season in the Royals’ organization, including the last three seasons as manager between Burlington (2017) and Lexington (2015-16). Former Royals pitcher Jeff Suppan will return as pitching coach for his fourth season with Idaho Falls. Damon Hollins, in his eighth season with the Royals, will return for his second season as the Chukars’ hitting coach, while also serving as an assistant outfield, base running and bunting coordinator. Justin Kemp will remain the club’s certified athletic trainer for the third straight season.

Burlington will welcome new manager Brooks Conrad, who played parts of six seasons in the Majors with Oakland (2008), Atlanta (2009-11), Milwaukee (2012), Tampa Bay (2012) and San Diego (2014). Carlos Martinez, in his 17th year in the Royals’ organization, will serve as Burlington’s pitching coach for the seventh straight season. Nelson Liriano returns for his second stint as hitting coach in Burlington, where he previous held this title in 2014 and served as manager from 2009-11. The former 11-year Major Leaguer is entering his 17th season as a coach in the Royals’ organization, including the last three as hitting coach in Surprise. Daniel Accola enters his second season as the certified athletic trainer.

Surprise will welcome new manager Tony Pena Jr., whose father managed the Royals from 2002-05. He last played affiliated ball with Charlotte (AAA) in the White Sox’s organization in 2013. Mark Davis will return for his 13th year in the Royals’ organization and his third straight as pitching coach in Surprise. Rehab pitching coordinator Carlos Reyes returns for his 11th season in the organization and third straight with Surprise. Andre David enters his 20th season in the Royals’ organization, serving as Surprise’s hitting coach, including a stint last season in Burlington. He will be joined in that role by Ramon Castro, who enters his first season as a full-time coach, and Willie Aikens, who enters his eighth season as a coach in the Royals’ organization, including the last three in Surprise. Gavin Grosh returns for his second season as certified athletic trainer after spending the previous five seasons in the Mets’ organization.

The Dominican Royals return Victor Baez as the field coordinator. Miguel Bernard and Ramon Martinez, who enters his 12th season in the organization, will serve as managers. Rafael Feliz and Julio Pimentelwill serve as pitching coaches, and Onil Joseph and Wilson Betemit will serve as hitting coaches. Quilvio Veras will be the bunting and base running coach, and Sergio De Luna and Pedro Rosario will also serve as assistants on the staff. Nevan Dominguez will be the trainer, and he’ll be assisted by Alessandro Bertozzo, Martin Berroa and Manuel Plaza. Jose Rosario and Severino Ventura return as strength and conditioning coaches.

Coordinators and Roving positions:

Senior Coordinator of Player Development Chino Cadahia begins his eighth year in the organization and his 34th in coaching at the professional level. Cadahia previously served as the bench coach in Kansas City for two seasons (2012-13), after serving in that role with the Atlanta Braves from 2007-10. He was a part of the Atlanta organization from 1996-2010.

Eddie Rodriguez returns for a second season as the Royals’ minor league field coordinator after spending the previous three seasons in the San Diego Padres’ organization. He spent the previous six seasons with the Royals (2008-13), most recently as the club’s third base coach from 2011-13.

Bill Fischer, a former Major League pitching coach with the Reds, Red Sox and Rays, will begin his 71st year in professional baseball in 2018 as senior pitching advisor. Fischer, who re-joined the organization in 2007, also worked with the club from 1975-78 and in 1984.

John Wathan, a former player and manager for the Royals, returns for his 46th season in baseball, and 42nd with the organization, as a special assistant to player development.

Harry Spilman enters his fourth year as a special assistant to player development. He came to the Royals’ organization in 2015 after holding a similar title with the Texas Rangers from 2009-14.

Larry Carter will begin his 21st season in the Royals’ organization and his fourth as the club’s minor league pitching coordinator. His time with the Royals includes 11 seasons at the Double-A level with Wichita (2002-07) and Northwest Arkansas (2008-12), two seasons with the back-to-back Triple-A champion Omaha Storm Chasers (2013-14), two seasons at Advanced-A Wilmington (2000-2001) and two seasons at Class-A with Charleston (1999) and Lansing (1998).

Jason Simontacchi joins the Royals’ organization as assistant pitching coordinator, after spending the last five seasons at various levels in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization. He was originally selected by Kansas City in the 21st round of the 1996 Draft and played four seasons in the Majors with St. Louis (2002-04) and the Washington Nationals (2007).

Rafael Belliard joined the Royals’ coaching staff during Spring Training in 2014 as a special assistant to the general manager and returns for his fifth year in that role. He will also coordinate minor league infield instruction for the fourth straight season.

J.C. Boscan enters his second season as the Royals’ minor league catching coordinator. He played in parts of 19 seasons in the minors, most recently in 2015 with Triple-A Omaha. Boscan also played in parts of four seasons in the Majors with Atlanta (2010-12) and the Chicago Cubs (2013).

The Royals’ minor league medical staff will remain the same with Chris DeLucia serving as the minor league medical coordinator and Tony Medina as the Latin American medical coordinator. Garrett Sherrillwill be the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Justin Hahn returns for his fifth year as the rehab coordinator/physical therapist.

Will Simon will be the minor league equipment manager for the 12th straight season, working with the player development, international operations and amateur scouting departments to supply equipment and apparel throughout the minor league system and the Dominican Academy. Jeff Diskin is in his fifth season as the cultural development coordinator. Monica Ramirez will begin her second season in her role as Royals’ education/ESL & Latin American initiatives coordinator, after serving in a consulting role in the past. Tim Bavester enters his first season as a full-time assistant video coordinator, after serving as an intern the previous three seasons.

Read more: Kansas City Royals
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ROYALS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Astros great J.R. Richard honored by Ted Williams Hall of Fame and Museum

 

J.R. Richard signing autographs in 2014 CC BY-SA 3.0, https en.wikipedia.org

 

 

Former Astros All-Star pitcher J.R. Richard was one of five individuals inducted into the Ted Williams Hall of Fame and Museum on February 10 during a ceremony at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, FL, which is the Spring Training home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Joining Richard for induction was Tony Perez, Ron Guidry, Dick Allen and Charlie Manuel. Richard will be the third former Astros player inducted into the Ted Williams HOF, joining Craig Biggio (2014) and Billy Wagner (2016). The Ted Williams Hall of Fame and Museum is located inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL, and is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

During his fine career, which spanned from 1971-80, all with the Astros, the hard-throwing Richard was one of the most feared pitchers in the Major Leagues. Standing 6-8 and with a fastball that reached 100 mph on a regular basis, Richard was also one of the most intimidating pitchers baseball history.

In 1976, he established himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, posting a 20-15 record in 39 starts with a 2.75 ERA and 214 striketouts in 291.0 innings pitched. He would reach 18 wins in each of the next three seasons (1977-79) while setting strikeout records along the way. Richard set a club record with 303 strikeouts in 1978 and then set a NL record for right-handed pitchers with 313 K’s in 1979. Additionally, his 2.71 ERA in 1979 was the best in all of baseball.

In 1980, Richard was en route to what appeared to be his finest season, posting a 10-4 mark at the All-Star Break with an outstanding 1.96 ERA. He was named the NL’s starting pitcher for the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, putting on an impressive performance with three strikeouts in 2.0 scoreless innings. However, sadly, he would suffer a stroke on July 30 which would end his Major League career at age 30.

Despite the abrupt end to his career, Richard ranks in the top 10 in Astros history in several categories, including career strikeouts (3rd-1,493), career wins (5th-107) and career ERA (T2nd-3.15). His 313 K’s in 1979 remain as the franchise record for a single season.

Read more: Houston Astros
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ASTROS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Tigers invite 22 players to their Spring Training camp

The Detroit Tigers today announced the following 22 players have been invited to Major League camp this spring in Lakeland, FL.

Righthanded pitchers: Victor Alcántara, Enrique Burgos, Kevin Comer, Alex Faedo, Mark Montgomery, Paul Voelker

Lefthanded pitcher: Travis Wood

Catchers: Derek Norris, Brayan Peña, Arvicent Perez, Jake Rogers

Infielders: Alexi Amarista, Harold Castro, Kody Eaves, Edwin Espinal, Dominic Ficociello, Niko Goodrum, Pete Kozma, Ronny Rodriguez

Outfielders: Jim Adduci, Chad Huffman, Jason Krizan

Additionally, the following staff members will be in uniform at Major League camp this spring: Willie Blair, Basilio Cabrera, Bill Dancy, Joe DePastino, Bruce Fields, Scott Fletcher, Jaime Garcia, Andrew Graham, Brian Harper, Mike Hessman, Doug Mientkiewicz, Dave Owen, Brian Peterson, Jeff Pico, Gene Roof, A.J. Sager and Jose Valentin. Also, Willie Horton, Al Kaline and Alan Trammell will be in uniform this spring. Corey Tremble, Chris McDonald and T.J. Obergefell will assist the Major League training staff this spring, while Jeff Mathers will work with the Tigers strength and conditioning coordinators Chris Walter and Yousef Zamat.

The first pitchers and catchers workout in Lakeland will be on Wednesday, February 14, while the first full squad workout will be on Monday, February 19.

Read more: Detroit Tigers
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY TIGERS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Detroit Tigers announce 2018 Minor League coaching assignments

The Detroit Tigers have announced the Minor League field staff and roving personnel assignments for the 2018 season.

Dave Owen (Director, Player Development), Bill Dancy (Minor League Field Coordinator), Manny Crespo (Director, Latin American Player Development), Joe DePastino (Catching Coordinator), Bruce Fields (Hitting Coordinator), A.J. Sager (Pitching Coordinator), Jaime Garcia (Assistant Pitching Coordinator), Gene Roof (Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator), Brian Peterson (Mental Skills Instructor), Josman Robles (Latin American Performance Coach), Sharon Lockwood (Coordinator of International Player Programs), Corey Tremble (Medical & Rehab Coordinator), Steve Chase (Strength and Conditioning Coordinator) and Patrick Saenz (Lakeland Clubhouse Manager) will all return in their respective positions for the 2018 season. Scott Fletcher, who was the Infield Coordinator last season, will now be a Hitting Coordinator. Jose Valentin, who last coached for the San Diego Padres in 2015 as the first base coach, and played 16 Major League seasons, will now be the Minor League Infield Coordinator. Adam Daily, who was the Minor League Video Coordinator in 2017, will now serve as the Analytics/TrackMan Coordinator. Jim McKew will be the Minor League Video Coordinator, with Kan Ikeda serving as the Minor League Assistant Video Coordinator. Manny Pena, who served as the athletic trainer for GCL Tigers West in 2017, will now be the Assistant Medical Coordinator – International in 2018.

For Triple A Toledo, Doug Mientkiewicz joins the Tigers organization as the Mud Hens manager, after spending the last five seasons as a manager in the Minnesota Twins Minor League system, most recently with Single A Advanced Fort Myers in 2017. As a manager in the Twins system, the Toledo native led Fort Myers to the postseason in 2013, 2014 and 2017, and led Double A Chattanooga to the Southern League Championship in 2015. Pitching coach Jeff Pico, hitting coach Brian Harper, coach Basilio Cabrera, athletic trainer Chris McDonald and strength and conditioning coach Fred Murphy all return to the Mud Hens staff in 2018.

At Double A Erie, Andrew Graham will take over as manager, after spending last season as the manager of Single A Advanced Lakeland. This season will be Graham’s 10th with the Tigers organization, and eighth as a manager in the Minor League system. Mike Hessman, who served as Single A West Michigan’s hitting coach last season, will serve in the same role for Erie this upcoming season. Willie Blair will enter his third season as Erie’s pitching coach. Santiago Garrido will join the Erie staff as a coach, after playing 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues, most recently with the Erie SeaWolves in 2017. Athletic trainer T.J. Obergefell and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mathers will return to the SeaWolves staff in 2018.

The Single A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers will be managed by Mike Rabelo, who spent the 2017 season as the manager for Single A West Michigan. Rabelo was named the 2017 Midwest League Manager of the Year after he helped guide the Whitecaps to a Midwest League-leading 91 wins. Mark Johnson and Tim Garland return to the Lakeland staff in 2018 as the pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively. Francisco Contreras, who spent last season as the hitting coach for the GCL (Gulf Coast League) Tigers West, will serve as a coach in Lakeland. Strength and conditioning coach Allan Williamson and athletic trainer Chris Vick will also return to the Lakeland staff in 2018.

For Single A West Michigan, Lance Parrish takes over as skipper, after spending the last four seasons as the manager for Double A Erie. Jorge Cordova returns for his second season as the team’s pitching coach. Mariano Duncan joins the Tigers organization, and will be the hitting coach for the Whitecaps after serving as a coach in the Chicago Cubs Minor League system for the last seven seasons, most recently as hitting coach for Triple A Iowa. John Vander Wal will join the staff as a coach for West Michigan, after spending the 2017 season as a pro scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matt Rosenhamer will return in 2018 as the strength and conditioning coach for West Michigan as will athletic trainer Jason Schwartzman.

At Short A Connecticut, Gerald Laird, who was named the team manager in 2017, will return as manager in 2018. Ace Adams and Rafael Martinez both return to Connecticut’s coaching staff in 2018 as the team’s pitching coach and hitting coach, respectively. Edwin Ortiz returns as Connecticut’s strength and conditioning coach and Sean McFarland joins the staff as the team’s athletic trainer.

Gary Cathcart will be the manager for the GCL Tigers West this season after spending the last two seasons as the Miami Marlins field coordinator. Cathcart last managed in the New York-Penn League in 2015 for the Auburn Doubledays, the Washington Nationals’ Rookie-level affiliate, where he spent five seasons as the skipper. Mike Alvarez returns for his second season as the club’s pitching coach. Bill Springman will join the staff and be the team’s hitting coach, after spending last season as the hitting coach for the Uni-Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Marcos Sierra will return in 2018 as the GCL Tigers West strength and conditioning coach and Cody Derby will be the team’s athletic trainer.

Luis López will manage the GCL Tigers East in 2018, after spending the past six seasons as the Minor League infield coordinator with the Atlanta Braves. Prior to his six seasons with Atlanta, López also spent four seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization as a Minor League hitting coach. Carlos Bohorquez returns for his third season in 2018 as the team’s pitching coach. Rafael Gil, who spent last season as the manager for the GCL Tigers West club, will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Luis Rodriguez returns as strength and conditioning coach this season, while Erick Flores will serve as the athletic trainer.

Ramon Zapata, who was the hitting coach for GCL Tigers East last season, will be the manager of the DSL (Dominican Summer League) Tigers1 team in 2018. Jose Parra returns to his role as the team’s pitching coach, which will mark his 11th season in that capacity. Jose Ovalles returns to the staff and will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Soilo Perdomo returns as a coach, his sixth season in a full-time capacity with the organization. Francisco Martinez joins the staff, after playing eight seasons in the Minor Leagues, most recently with the Single A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2015. Carlos Quintero enters his third season as a coach for the DSL Tigers. Luis Reyes and Jairo Diaz will both serve as the athletic trainers and Rafael Suero will return as the team’s strength and conditioning coach in 2018.

Jesus Garces, who was the GCL Tigers East manager in 2017, will serve as manager for the DSL Tigers2 in 2018. Luis Marte will serve as the team’s pitching coach, after spending last season as an assistant pitching coach with the DSL Tigers. Marte will be joined by Williams Moreno, who will begin his coaching career in 2018 and serve as the team’s assistant pitching coach. Marco Yepez, who managed the DSL Tigers in 2017, will now be the team’s hitting coach. Carmelo Jaime, who was the infield coach for the GCL Tigers East last season, joins the staff in 2018 as a coach. Sandy Acevedo enters his fifth season in a full-time capacity with the Tigers organization and his first as a coach for the DSL Tigers2. Thomas Muñoz also returns to the DSL Tigers as the strength and conditioning coach in 2018.

Read more: Detroit Tigers
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY TIGERS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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