Results tagged ‘ coaching staff ’
The Astros finalized their field staff for the 2014 season on Tuesday, announcing Brent Strom as pitching coach, Pat Listach as first base coach, Craig Bjornson as bullpen coach and Ralph Dickenson as assistant hitting coach.
The team also announced Dave Trembley, who was third-base coach last season, will take over as bench coach, which was a position held by Eduardo Perez last year. Perez will make the move to third base coach, taking Trembley’s spot from last year.
Astros hitting coach John Mallee is returning in the same capacity as the 2013 season, which was the first year for first-year manager Bo Porter. Dan Radison, who was assistant hitting coach last year, has been named a special assignment coach.
Strom, 64, spent the last six seasons (2008-13) with the Cardinals organization, serving as the Cardinals’ Minor League pitching coordinator (2012-13) and Minor League pitching instructor (2008-11). This will be Strom’s third stint as a Major League pitching coach and his second with Houston, having been in the same position for the Astros in 1996 and for Kansas City from 2000-01.
Listach, 46, joins the Astros from the Dodgers, where he served as the organization’s Minor League infield coordinator in 2013. Prior to last season, Listach coached on the Major League staffs for the Cubs (2011-12) and Nationals (2009-10) for two years apiece.
He also has nine years of minor league coaching experience in the Cubs system from 2000-08. Listach played in six Major League seasons, which included time with the Milwaukee Brewers (1992-96) and the Astros (1997), and was named the 1992 American League Rookie of the Year. He is a resident of the Houston area.
Bjornson, 44, returns as the club’s bullpen coach, the same position he held for the Astros in 2012. He spent last season working as the organization’s roving pitching instructor. Bjornson, who is bilingual, has 15 years of coaching experience in professional baseball, mostly spent as a pitching coach. He also played three seasons of minor league baseball (1991-93), all in the Astros system.
Dickenson, 65, will take over as the assistant hitting coach after spending the 2013 season as the club’s Minor League hitting coordinator. Dickenson has been a Minor League hitting coordinator for 20 seasons (1990-92, 1995-2009, 2013) for seven different organizations. The 2014 season will be his 36th season as an instructor at the professional or collegiate level and his first on a Major League staff.
Next year will mark Trembley’s 30th season in professional baseball and his second consecutive with the Astros. He was the manager of the Orioles for parts of four seasons (2007-2010), and also spent 20 seasons as a Minor League skipper, which included managing Porter at three different levels while with the Cubs organization (1995-98).
Perez, 44, joined the Astros last year after serving as the Marlins’ hitting coach for nearly two seasons (2011-12). He has also worked as a special assistant to the baseball operations department for the Cleveland Indians, a role which included considerable time in uniform providing instruction at the Major League and Minor League levels.
Perez played parts of 13 seasons (1993-2006) in the Major Leagues with the Angels, Reds, Cardinals, Rays, Indians and Mariners. Following his playing career, he spent several seasons as a baseball analyst for ESPN, working the postseason and for Baseball Tonight.
The Astros made changes to their coaching staff Tuesday, naming pitching coach Doug Brocail as a special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow and senior pitching adviser while announcing first-base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez would not have their contracts renewed.
“It was a tough year on the field this year at the Major League level, despite the significant progress in continuing to build our player pipeline,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Bo and I discussed how we can improve next year and came to the conclusion that bringing in a few new and different voices would help.”
Brocail, 46, spent two full seasons as the Astros pitching coach after taking over the position on an interim basis in June of 2011. Prior to taking the Major League job, Brocail served nearly two years (2010-11) as a special assistant to the Astros general manager. Brocail had a long professional career (1986-2009), which included three stops in Houston (1995-96, 2001, 2008-09). A resident of nearby Missouri City, Texas, Brocail has been with the organization in some capacity, as a player, special assistant or coach, since 2008.
“In Doug’s new role, he will assist me in overseeing and guiding our pitchers and pitching coaches across the organization,” Luhnow said. “His experience these last three years as a Major League pitching coach combined with his many years as a player makes him ideal for this role.”
Clark, 51, spent five consecutive seasons on the Astros coaching staff, serving as the third base coach for four seasons (2009-12) and the club’s first base coach in 2013.
“The Astros thank Dave Clark for his many years of service to the organization and wish him the best going forward,” Luhnow said.
Martinez, 58, was with the Astros for the 2013 season, serving as the bullpen coach. Prior to joining the organization, Martinez worked as a pitching coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system for six seasons.
“We want our new pitching coach to be involved in selecting his bullpen coach, since they work so closely together.” Luhnow said.
The Astros shook up their coaching Tuesday, announcing pitching coach Doug Brocail would become a special assistant and the contracts of first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez would not be renewed.
Brocail had previously served as a special assistant following his 16-year playing career, beginning in 2010. He took over as interim pitching coach on June 14, 2011 and was later named to the position full-time.
Martinez, who won 245 games in the Major Leagues and threw a perfect game in 1991, was in his first season as the team’s bullpen coach.
Clark, who previously served as interim manager and third-base coach, moved across the diamond this year to become first-base coach when the Astros brought in Dave Trembley to be third-base coach.
The Astros have hired former All-Star pitcher Dennis Martinez as bullpen coach and former Major League first baseman and coach Eduardo Perez as bench coach, finalizing their coaching staff.
“We wanted to make sure it was a diverse staff, a staff that covers all the disciplines and a staff that has a good mix of experiences and everybody was a good teacher,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “I think we accomplished all of the goals we had. There were a lot of moving parts.”
Here’s a look at each member of the staff:
Manager Bo Porter: Porter, 40, has 18 years of combined experience as a player, coach and manager in the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues. He spent the previous two seasons as the third base coach for Washington. Prior to joining the Nationals staff in 2011, he began the 2010 season as third base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks before being promoted to bench coach on July 1 when Kirk Gibson was named manager. Porter also served as third base coach for the Florida Marlins for three seasons (2007-09) prior to joining the Diamondbacks.
Porter also has experience as a manager, skippering the Marlins’ Jamestown club of the New York-Penn League for the 2006 season. He made his coaching debut as hitting coach for Class A Greensboro of the South Atlantic League in 2005.
During his playing career, Porter played in parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues as an outfielder for the Cubs (1999), A’s (2000) and Rangers (2001), appearing in a total of 89 games. He appeared in two playoff games for Oakland during the 2000 season. Porter was originally selected by the Cubs in the 1993 June Draft and hit 113 home runs with 503 RBIs and 236 stolen bases in 10 Minor League seasons.
Bullpen coach Dennis Martinez: Martinez, 57, who had been a pitching coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system for the past six seasons, won 245 games in his outstanding Major League career, a total that ranks first among Latin American-born pitchers. He appeared in four All-Star Games and led the American League in wins in 1981. While pitching for the Montreal Expos on July 28,1991 at Dodger Stadium, he hurled baseball’s 13th perfect game in a 2-0 victory. Overall, Martinez pitched 23 seasons in the Majors (1976-1998).
Martinez, who is from Nicaragua, is currently serving as manager of the Nicaraguan team that will be playing in the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He had been the pitching coach for the Palm Beach Cardinals (A) for the past two seasons (2011-12). He also served stints as pitching coach for the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield and for their Gulf Coast League club. Martinez, 57, also served as a special assistant for the Orioles prior to joining the Cardinals organization.
Bench coach Eduardo Perez: Perez, 43, has both playing and coaching experience in the Majors and has also had success as a manager in Latin America. He currently is serving as manager of the Columbian team that is preparing for the qualifying round for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Perez previously had success as manager of the Ponce Lions in the Puerto Rico Winter League for two seasons (2008-09), earning Manager of the Year honors in 2008 and also guiding the Lions to the Caribbean Series in 2009.
Perez, who is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, most recently had been the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins since June 8, 2011. Prior to that, he had served as a special assistant to the baseball operations department for the Cleveland Indians, a role which included considerable time in uniform providing instruction at the Major League and Minor League levels. Perez played parts of 13 seasons (1993-2006) in the Major Leagues with the Angels, Reds, Cardinals, Rays, Indians and Mariners. Following his playing career, he spent several seasons as a baseball analyst for ESPN, working the postseason and for Baseball Tonight.
Hitting coach John Mallee: Mallee, 43, has 17 seasons of experience in professional baseball, primarily as a hitting coach in both the Major Leagues and minor leagues. Most recently, he spent a year as the Major League hitting coach for the Marlins between 2010-11. Prior to being named the Marlins big league hitting coach, Mallee spent eight and a half seasons as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator. While at that position, Mallee worked with Porter, who was also a coach and manager in the Marlins farm system at the time (2005-06).
Third-base coach Dave Trembley: Trembley, 60, spent the last two seasons as the Minor League field coordinator for the Atlanta Braves. Trembley brings a wealth of experience to the staff, having spent his last 28 years in professional baseball, including 19 years as a Major League manager with Pittsburgh (1987-89), San Diego (1991-93), Chicago-NL (1994-2002) and Baltimore (2003-06). In 2000 with the Cubs, Trembley managed Porter in what was his first season in the Major Leagues.
Pitching coach Doug Brocail: Brocail, 45, returns for what will be his second full season as the Astros pitching coach in 2013. He took over the position midseason in 2011 after serving nearly two years (2010-11) as a special assistant to the Astros general manager. Brocail had a long professional career (1986-2009), which included three stops in Houston (1995-96, 2001, 2008-09). Brocail has been with the organization in some capacity, as a player, special assistant or coach, since 2008.
First-base coach Dave Clark: Clark, 50, will return for his fifth consecutive season on the Astros coaching staff, serving the previous four as third-base coach. A member of the Astros organization since 2005, Clark has also spent time as a Minor League manager in the organization at the Double-A (2005-07) and Triple-A levels (2008) and also served as the Astros interim manager for the final 13 games in 2009. Clark had a 13-year Major League playing career (1986-98), which included a one-year stint with Houston in 1998, the same team that won a franchise-best 102 games.
Astros president of baseball operations Tal Smith, general manager Ed Wade and assistant general manager David Gottfried met with manager Brad Mills and his coaching staff for about three hours at the team’s hotel in downtown Cincinnati on Monday to discuss 2011 and look ahead to 2012.
“We got their impressions on the guys on the roster and needs and things of that nature,” Wade said. “We thought it was a good meeting. It was a real good exchange of ideas. Folks were very candid in their opinions. They weren’t all on the same page with everybody, which I thought was very helpful. It was good.”
Wade said meetings like this are routine at this time of year.
“We talk about who are the free agents on the club, who are the guys out of options going into Spring Training next year, some other things of that nature,” he said. “We talk about a little bit about needs going forward.
“We literally went player-by-player, starting with the pitchers and then the catchers and infielders and outfielders and some of the guys who are on option or were on the disabled list during the season, long enough for the coaching staff to have some observations. We talked about all that stuff.”
It’s rather unusual to see a Major League coaching staff get multi-year deals, but the Astros felt so good about what they had in manager Brad Mills’ staff that they announced Saturday they had extended the contracts of the field staff by two years, though 2012.
The Astros will have to wait a couple of more weeks before hitting coach Jeff Bagwell tells them whether he wants to return, but Mills and general manager Ed Wade have put together a terrific coaching staff in Brad Arnsberg (pitching coach), Dave Clark (third-base coach), Bobby Meacham (first-base coach), Al Pedrique (bench coach) and Jamie Quirk (bullpen coach).
Not only do they have the respect of the players, but the group puts in long hours poring over advance scouting reports and in the video room before the players even arrive at the ballpark.
“I knew from basically July on we wanted to keep this group together,” Wade said. “I talked to [owner] Drayton [McLane] and [president of baseball operation] Tal [Smith about doing two-years and they see the same things I’ve seen and they’re very supportive of extending beyond this organization’s norm.
“If you look at coaches’ contracts, there’s not a lot of multi-year deals out there. There are some, but not the vast majority. To be able to do that with the entire unit sends a message to them that we appreciate the kind of work they’ve done and a message to the players, too, that there’s continuity and stability. With a younger group, that’s an important message to try to deliver.”
Don’t be surprised to see the Astros pick up Mills’ option for 2012. He’s under contract next year, but with his staff getting contracts through 2012, it only makes sense the manager gets the same deal.