Photo Credit: Lynchburg Hillcats
Note: This is the third part of a series that will look at the coaching staffs in the Cleveland Indians organization. Up next: the Lake County Captains.
In January, the Cleveland Indians announced the player development staffs of each of the minor league affiliates. Just like the Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, the manager will be one that has been in that spot from the prior year.
In just his third year in the Cleveland Indians system, Hillcats manager Mark Budzinski will return to the dugout as manager at City Stadium. After spending 2015 with the Hillcats, Budzinski will be in a familiar clubhouse as he leads the High-A affiliate into the Carolina League season.
“2015 with Lynchburg was a great experience to have. I continued to learn and do the best that we can for each and every one of the players on the team,” said Budzinski in a recent phone interview.
After taking a hiatus from baseball to pursue a different career, “Bud” rejoined the world of baseball as the manager of the Lake County Captains in 2014. 2015 saw Budzinski manage the Hillcats, just two hours from his home in Richmond, Virginia. In two years as a manager, Budzinski has a record of 137-142 with two playoff appearances under his belt.
- 2014: Lake County Manager (65-74) Midwest League Playoffs (Lost in Finals)
- 2015: Lynchburg Manager (72-68) Carolina League Playoffs (Lost in 1st Round)
Another familiar face will return to the Lynchburg clubhouse and dugout in 2016. Pitching Coach Rigo Beltran comes back to Virginia to work with the Hillcats pitchers. In 2015, Beltran split time between Arizona and Lynchburg after Tony Arnold became the Clippers pitching coach. Beltran is in his third season with the Indians after seven years with the Cincinnati Reds. Beltran was with Budzinski in Lake County in 2014 as the pitching coach.
“Rigo is awesome to work with. He is very tough, he talks to his players daily, very attentive to detail and very prepared with his work,” he said.
- 2007-2008: GCL Reds Pitching Coach (Reds)
- 2009: Carolina Pitching Coach (Reds)
- 2010-2013: Bakersfield Pitching Coach (Reds)
- 2014: Lake County Pitching Coach
- 2015: Arizona Pitching Coach/Lynchburg Pitching Coach
Larry Day will make the jump from Lake County to the hitting coach position in Lynchburg. Day is in his second season with the Tribe minor league system as he coached in the collegiate ranks for six seasons prior to joining the Indians.
- 2008-2013: Assistant Coach at Vanderbilt University
- 2014: Assistant Coach at Ohio University
- 2015: Lake County Hitting Coach
Bobby Ruiz returns to Lynchburg as the trainer for the second straight season and Juan Acevedo joins the team as the Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“I am excited to be back in the Carolina League. I was able to get a feel for the league in my first season and how they work.”
The Hillcats will host the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday April 7th at home for the 2016 season opener.