Indians announce 2016 player development staff

The Cleveland Indians announced their 2016 player development staff for the organization on Monday afternoon. There are some changes that shake the rest of the ladder throughout the system. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the PD staff for the Cleveland Indians.

The top heads of the Player Development branch of the front office will remain the same. Carter Hawkins will remain as the Director of Player Development, a position he gained last winter when current Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins was promoted. Alex Eckelman moves up the ladder to become one of the Assistant Directors of Player Development. He will work with current assistant director Eric Binder after working as the Advanced Scouting Coordinator for the last four years.

Front office

Director, Player Development: Carter Hawkins
Assistant Director, Player Development: Eric Binder
Assistant Director, Player Development: Alex Eckelman
Director, Administration: Wendy Hoppel
Administrative assistant: Nilda Taffanelli

The staff of coordinators is where there is a lot of new faces in new positions. Julio Rangel was the Lower Level Pitching Coordinator for the last couple of seasons, but now he will be the assistant to current Field Coordinator Tom Wiedenbauer. Matt Blake joins the Indians organization to fill Rangel’s role and he will work with Ruben Niebla and the coaches of the system. Former Indians player and Major Leaguer John McDonald moves into a full-time role as he becomes the Infield Coordinator after a season as a Special Assistant to Player Development. Recently-retired Major Leaguer Bruce Chen joins the organization to assist the Latin players on the adjustment to the culture as Cultural Development Coordinator. Travis Fryman returns to a Advisor role after a season as Manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Field Coordinator: Tom Wiedenbauer
Pitching Coordinator: Ruben Niebla
Assistant Field Coordinator: Julio Rangel*
Lower level Pitching Coordinator: Matt Blake*
Hitting Coordinator: Jim Rickon
Catching Coordinator: Scooter Tucker
Infield Coordinator: John McDonald*
Cultural Development: Bruce Chen*
Strength and Conditioning: Todd Kubacki
Rehab Coordinator: TBA
Pitching Programs, rehab: Ken Knutson
Strength and Conditioning, Latin America: Nelson Perez
Performance Coach: Ceci Clark
Performance Coach: Brian Miles
Performance Coach: Oscar Gutierrez
Special Assistant: Tim Belcher
Special Assistant: Travis Hafner*
Advisor: Jhonny Goryl
Advisor: Minnie Mendoza
Advisor: Tim Tolman
Advisor: Travis Fryman*

For the coaching staffs, there will be a more in-depth post about each staff in the coming days. Here is the recap for now.

Columbus Clippers (AAA): 

  • Manager: Chris Tremie
  • Pitching Coach: Steve Karsay*
  • Hitting Coach: Rouglas Odor
  • Coach: Omir Santos*
  • Strength and Conditioning: Ed Subel
  • Trainer: Chad Wolfe

Tremie returns to the Clippers dugout for the fourth straight season and will begin his 11th season in the Indians organization. Steve Karsay makes the jump from Low-A Lake County to Columbus to become the Pitching Coach in 2016, his 5th season with the Tribe. Rouglas Odor is back for the second straight season as the Hitting Coach for the defending Governor’s Cup Champions. Former Clipper Omir Santos becomes a full-time coach with the Clippers after he spent time last year with the catchers of the team. Wolfe and Subel are returning for their third and fourth years in Columbus, respectively.

Akron RubberDucks (AA): 

  • Manager: Dave Wallace
  • Pitching Coach: Tony Arnold*
  • Hitting Coach: Tim Laker*
  • Strength and Conditioning: Scott Nealon*
  • Trainer: Jeremy Heller

Wallace begins his third consecutive season at the helm of the RubberDucks, and sixth season with the Cleveland Indians. Tony Arnold becomes the Pitching Coach at Akron, replacing Jeff Harris. Arnold spent 2015 split between Lynchburg and Columbus as the Pitching Coach. Tim Laker rejoins the Indians organization following six years with the Mariners and the White Sox. He was the Scrappers manager in 2007. Nealon joins the RubberDucks following time with the Lynchburg Hillcats. Heller returns to Akron for the third straight season.

Lynchburg Hillcats (A+):

  • Manager: Mark Budzinski
  • Pitching Coach: Rigo Beltran*
  • Hitting Coach: Larry Day*
  • Strength and Conditioning: Juan Acevedo*
  • Trainer: Bobby Ruiz

Budzinski begins his third season in the Tribe system and second with the Hillcats team. Beltran is slated to begin his first full season with the Hillcats as he joined the team halfway through the year when Tony Arnold moved to Columbus. Day will travel from Lake County to Lynchburg to maintain the Hitting Coach position. Ruiz returns to Lynchburg for the second straight season and sixth in the Indians organization. Acevedo heads to Virginia after time with the Scrappers in Niles, Ohio.

Lake County Captains (A-):

  • Manager: Tony Mansolino*
  • Pitching Coach: Steve McCatty*
  • Hitting Coach: TBA
  • Coach: Junior Betances*
  • Strength and Conditioning: Paul Synenkyj
  • Trainer: Matt Beauregard

Mansolino becomes the 11th manager in the Captains history and Lake County is a familiar place for him. He was the Hitting Coach in 2013 before spending time with Carolina and Akron over the last two seasons. McCatty joins the Indians organization after spending the last six years as the Major League Pitching Coach with the Washington Nationals. Betances will be an assistant coach with the Captains after he spent the last six years with the Arizona Rookie League team. Synenkyj and Beauregard return to the same roles as 2015.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SS): 

  • Manager: Edwin Rodriguez*
  • Pitching Coach: Tighe Dickinson*
  • Hitting Coach: Kevin Howard
  • Strength and Conditioning: Jake Legan
  • Trainer: Jake Sankel*

Rodriguez returns to the dugout after spending the last two seasons as a Special Assistant to Player Development. He last managed in 2013 with Akron. Dickinson joins the Indians organizations after being a college coach with Florida International, Arkansas State and Washington. Howard returns to Niles after his debut season in 2015. Legan returns as the Strength and Conditioning coach while Sankel comes from the RubberDucks.

Arizona Rookie League (Rk):

  • Manager: Anthony Medrano
  • Pitching Coach: Mark Allen
  • Hitting Coach: Dennis Malave
  • Coach: Bobby Magallanes*
  • Strength and Conditioning: Cesar Yepez
  • Trainer: Ted Blackwell

Medrano returns to Goodyear to be the manager for the sixth straight year. He will be joined by former Pitching Coach Mark Allen, who was in the same position in 2014. Malave will remain in the dugout as a hitting coach, a role he has held for six years. Magallanes kicks off his second season with the Tribe after one season with Lynchburg. Yepez and Blackwell return after 2015 in Goodyear.

Dominican Summer League (Rookie)

  • Field coordinator: Jose Mejia
  • Pitching coach: Jesus Sanchez
  • Pitching coach: Carlos Yan
  • Hitting coach: Freddy Tiburcio*
  • Infield coach: Carlos Fermin
  • Tryout coach: Jesus Tavarez*
  • Strength and conditioning: Hasani Torres
  • Assistant, strength and conditioning: Fernando Cabral
  • Athletic trainer: Gabriel Garcia
  • Athletic trainer: Edwin Garcia*

*-denotes new position in 2016


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 2016, Akron RubberDucks, Arizona League, AZL Indians, Carolina League, Cleveland Indians, Columbus Clippers, Dominican Summer League, 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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