Indians announce 2015 Player Development Staff

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians finally announced the Player Development staff for the 2015 season. There were many changes that were made throughout the organization.

In the offseason, there was one change that occurred within the front office that caused a domino effect. Ross Atkins was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel, from Director of Player Development. As a result, Carter Hawkins was promoted from Assistant Director of Player Development to Director, to fill Atkins’ spot. Eric Binder, a Baseball Operations intern for the last two years, will fill the role of Assistant Director of Player Development.

Just like the front office, there were numerous moves that occurred within the player development department for the Tribe. Former Hitting Coordinator, Alan Zinter, left the organization to be the Assistant Hitting Coach for the Houston Astros. Luis Ortiz, the Assistant Field Coordinator, was hired by the San Diego Padres. Ceci Clark was named the Performance Coach for the Indians. Jim Rickon, who was the Columbus hitting coach in 2014, joins the ranks of the staff as the Hitting Coordinator. Former Captains and Mudcats manager Scooter Tucker, moves to the Catching Coordinator position in his fourth season in the organization. Ken Knutson joins the Indians organization as the Pitching Programs and Rehab Coordinator. He was formerly the pitching coach at Arizona State and the head coach at Washington.

Field Coordinator: Tom Wiedenbauer
Pitching Coordinator: Ruben Niebla
Lower-level Pitching Coordinator: Julio Rangel
Performance coach: Ceci Clark*
Hitting Coordinator: Jim Rickon*
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator: Todd Kubacki
Rehab Coordinator: Thomas Albert
Pitching programs & Rehab Coordinator: Ken Knutson*
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Latin America: Nelson Perez
Catching Coordinator: Scooter Tucker*
Special Assistant: Tim Belcher
Special Assistant: Edwin Rodriguez
Advisor: Johnny Goryl
Advisor: Minnie Mendoza
Advisor: Tim Tolman

Columbus Clippers (AAA):

  • Manager: Chris Tremie
  • Pitching Coach: Carl Willis
  • Hitting Coach: Rouglas Odor
  • Trainer: Chad Wolfe
  • Strength and Conditioning: Ed Subel

Tremie returns to Columbus for the third consecutive season as the manager of the Triple-A affiliate of the Indians. 2015 will be Tremie’s tenth season with the organization. Carl Willis becomes the Pitching Coach for Columbus following a year in the front office as a Special Assistant. Willis was a minor league coach for the Indians before becoming the Pitching Coach for the big league club in 2003-2009 under Eric Wedge. He worked with the Mariners from 2010-2013 as a pitching coach. Rouglas Odor moves up from Akron to become the Hitting Coach in place of Jim Rickon for his 17th season with the Tribe. Wolfe and Subel return to the same positions as 2014.

Akron Rubberducks (AA): 

  • Manager: Dave Wallace
  • Pitching Coach: Jeff Harris
  • Hitting Coach: Tony Mansolino*
  • Trainer: Jeremy Heller
  • Strength and Conditioning: Jake Sankel

Wallace will spend his fifth season with the Indians in the dugout at Canal Park in a return of 2014. Harris returns to coach the pitchers at the Double-A level for the second straight season. Mansolino continues his trek up the minor league ladder as he will coach at the Double-A level. He spent 2014 with the Carolina Mudcats as the hitting coach. Heller and Sankel return the same spots as last season.

Lynchburg Hillcats (A+): 

  • Manager: Mark Budzinski*
  • Pitching Coach: Tony Arnold*
  • Hitting Coach: TBA
  • Trainer: Bobby Ruiz
  • Strength and Conditioning: Scott Nealon

Budzinski will lead the Lynchburg Hillcats, the new high-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians in his second season in the organization. Budzinski spend 2014 with the Lake County Captains en route to a Midwest League Championship appearance. Tony Arnold joins the Hillcats after spending the last two years with Columbus. Arnold is going on 23 years with the Indians with stops at every level along the way. The Indians have not named a Hitting Coach for 2015 yet. Ruiz and Nealon return to the same positions as 2014.

Lake County Captains (A-): 

  • Manager: Shaun Larkin*
  • Pitching Coach: Steve Karsay*
  • Hitting Coach: TBA
  • Trainer: Matt Beauregard
  • Strength and Conditioning: Paul Synenkyj

The Captains will be managed by former player, coach and first-year manager Shaun Larkin in 2015. Larkin played for the Captains in 2003 and was the hitting coach in 2014. Larkin is joined by pitching coach Steve Karsay. Karsay’s fourth season in the organization has him returning to Eastlake to be the pitching coach. Karsay was the pitching coach in 2013. Beauregard and Synenkyj return to the same positions as 2014.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SS): 

  • Manager: Travis Fryman*
  • Pitching Coach: Greg Hibbard
  • Hitting Coach: Larry Day*
  • Trainer: Jake Legan
  • Strength and Conditioning: Juan Acevado

Fryman returns to Eastwood Field to be the Manager for the Scrappers in 2015. Fryman managed the Scrappers from 2008-2010 before he became the Infield Coordinator and a Special Assistant. Greg Hibbard is with the Scrappers for the fourth season, and second straight as pitching coach. Larry Day joins the organization after he was an assistant coach at Ohio University in 2014. Legan and Acevado return from 2014.

Arizona League Indians (Rk): 

  • Manager: Anthony Medrano
  • Pitching coach: Rigo Beltran*
  • Hitting coach: Junior Betances
  • Hitting coach: Dennis Malave
  • Hitting coach: Bobby Magallanes*
  • Athletic trainer: Ted Blackwell
  • Rehab strength: Pat Trainor
  • Strength and conditioning: Cesar Yepez

Medrano leads the Arizona League Indians in 2015 after a AZL Championship last year. Medrano has managed the Indians for the last five years and this is his eighth season in the organization. Rigo Beltran will become the pitching coach, replacing Mark Allen. Beltran was the pitching coach in Lake County in 2014. Booby Magallanes joins the Indians organization after he spent four years with the Chicago White Sox organization.

Dominican Summer League (Rookie)

  • Field Coordinator: Jose Mejia
  • Pitching Coach:Jesus Sanchez
  • Pitching Coach: Carlos Yan
  • Hitting Coach: Danny Bautista
  • Infield Coach: Carlos Fermin
  • Outfield & Baserunning coach: Jesus Tavarez
  • Tryout Coach: Lionel Vargas
  • Strength and Conditioning: Hasani Torres
  • Assistant, Strength and Conditioning: Fernando Cabral
  • Trainer: Gabriel Garcia

*-denotes new position in 2015


About tstotsky

I am a graduate of Lake Erie College and a huge baseball fan. I am a beat writer for Indians Baseball Insider, covering the Lake County Captains, Class A Affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
This entry was posted in Akron RubberDucks, Arizona League, AZL Indians, Carolina League, Cleveland Indians, Columbus Clippers, DSL Indians, Eastern League, International League, Lake County Captains, Lynchburg Hillcats, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Midwest League, New York-Penn League and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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