On Friday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians announced the staffs that will run the minor league system and teams in 2014. There will be many new faces in the organization as well as in new places.
There are many people staying in the same spot for next season. Luis Ortiz will become the Assistant Field Coordinator after being in the Lower-Level Hitting Coordinator/Cultural Development position last season. Edwin Rodriguez has been promoted to a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations position following two seasons as a manager of the affiliates.
Here is the full breakdown of the upper levels of the coordinator positions:
- Field Coordinator: Tom Wiedenbauer
- Assistant Field Coordinator: Luis Ortiz*
- Pitching Coordinator: Ruben Niebla
- Lower-Level Pitching Coordinator/Mental Skills: Julio Rangel
- Hitting Coordinator: Alan Zinter
- Infield Coordinator: TBD
- Rehab Coordinator: Thomas Albert
- Strength & Conditioning Coordinator: Todd Kubacki
- Latin American Strength & Conditioning: Nelson Perez
- Special Assistant: Travis Fryman
- Special Assistant: Jason Bere
- Special Assistant: Tim Belcher
- Special Assistant: Edwin Rodriguez*
- Advisor: Johnny Goryl
- Advisor: Minnie Mendoza
- Advisor: Tim Tolman
For the coaching staffs of the affiliates, there was a large shift in the system with 13 coaches in new spots for the upcoming season. A lot of coaches will be able to continue to work with a lot of the players they worked with last season.
- Manager: Chris Tremie
- Pitching Coach: Tony Arnold
- Hitting Coach: Jim Rickon*
- Strength/Conditioning: Ed Subel
- Athletic Trainer: Chad Wolfe*
Tremie will remain at the helm of the Clippers in 2014 for his ninth season in the organization. Arnold will return for his second season as pitching coach in his 22nd season in the organization. Rickon becomes the hitting coach for the Clip Show after spending 2013 in Akron as he starts his 12th season in the Indians system. All three coaches in the Clippers dugout have coached at all levels of the organization. Wolfe is the new athletic trainer of the Clippers after being promoted to Columbus when former trainer James Quinlan was named the Indians trainer for the year.
- Manager: Dave Wallace*
- Hitting Coach: Rouglas Odor*
- Pitching Coach: Jeff Harris*
- Strength/Conditioning: Jake Sankel
- Athletic Trainer: Jeremy Heller*
Wallace continues his trek up the system ladder as he becomes the leader of the newly minted RubberDucks, replacing Edwin Rodriguez. Wallace has managed at three different levels in his three years as a a coach. Odor will return to Canal Park in 2014 for his 16th season of coaching after being the hitting coach in Akron in 2011-2012. Harris kicks off his 6th season in the organization as he will work with the pitchers. All three coaches along with Heller move up from being with the Mudcats last season.
- Manager: Scooter Tucker*
- Hitting Coach: Tony Mansolino*
- Pitching Coach: Steve Karsay*
- Strength/Conditioning: Scott Nealon
- Athletic Trainer: Bobby Ruiz*
Tucker returns to the dugout at Five County Stadium, this time as the manager. Tucker was the hitting coach of the Mudcats in 2012. Mansolino is in his fourth season of coaching this year at three different spots. Karsay, coming off the AZL coaching, will open his third season of coaching with the Mudcats. Nealon is the only returning member of the staff as everyone else is coming from Lake County.
A- Lake County:
- Manager: Mark Budzinski*
- Pitching Coach: Rigo Beltran
- Hitting Coach: Shaun Larkin*
- Strength/Conditioning: Paul Synenkyj
- Athletic Trainer: Matt Beauregard*
The Captains will have two new coaches that are new to the system. Budzinski joins the Indians after playing 7 seasons in the organization (1995-2001). Beltran becomes the pitching coach after coming from the Reds organization. He was the pitching coach for the Bakersfield Blaze for the last three years. Larkin moves to Lake County, coming from the Scrappers in his first year. Larkin was the third baseman of the Captains in 2003. Beauregard also comes to Eastlake from the Scrappers.
SS Mahoning Valley:
- Manager: Ted Kubiak
- Hitting Coach: Phil Clark*
- Pitching Coach: Greg Hibbard*
- Strength/Conditioning: Juan Acevedo
- Athletic Trainer: TBD
Kubiak will lead the Scrappers for the 6th season of his 21 years as a coach, and the 3rd straight year. Clark comes from the Clippers the last two years to help the young hitters of the future. Hibbard returns to Niles to become the pitching coach after spending last year in Akron. Hibbard was the pitching coach in 2011-2012 of the Scrappers.
- Manager: Anthony Medrano
- Pitching Coach: Mark Allen*
- Hitting Coach: Junior Betances
- Coach: Dennis Malave
Medrano, Betances and Malave return to be the staff of the Arizona League Indians. The only addition is Mark Allen, normally a scout will become the pitching coach. Medrano has been with the AZL staff since 2009, two years as a coach and now four years as the manager. Malave is starting his 6th year in the organization, 5th in Arizona. Betances has been in the organization for 10 years and the Arizona Indians for the last four. Allen is in his first year of coaching.
* denotes new position for 2014
With the new coaches and the top prospects, it will be an interesting year in the minor league system. I will be watching all of the teams this season.
Have a happy holiday!