Yesterday the Chicago Cubs announced the makeup of their minor league staffs, as well as their minor league coordinators. The two new coordinator additions, Brandon Hyde and James Rowson, take over as the field coordinator and hitting coordinator, respectively. Without casting aspersions at the previous coordinators, you can understand why the new regime may have been looking for new blood in those roles.
The other notable addition is Bill Buckner as low-A Boise’s hitting coach. He doesn’t yet show up on the official press release, but it’s expected that he’ll be the guy (he had hoped to return to the Red Sox organization, but, as a Boise resident, maybe this was a better fit).
The full list of names, straight from the two press releases, follows. First up, the coordinators:
Brandon Hyde joins the organization as the minor league field coordinator following nine years in the Florida Marlins organization, including his first full season as the major league team’s bench coach in 2011. The 38-year-old was Florida’s minor league field coordinator to begin 2010 before he took over big league bench coach duties on June 23, 2010. Hyde was a minor league coach or manager from 2003-09, managing the Double-A Jacksonville Suns to the Southern League title in 2009. A former catcher and first baseman, Hyde batted .252 with 15 home runs and 101 RBI in 200 minor league games in the Chicago White Sox farm system from 1997-2001. Hyde takes over for Dave Bialas, who was named Triple-A Iowa’s field manager.
Dennis Lewallyn enters his second season as minor league pitching coordinator, and his sixth in the Cubs organization. He served as Double-A Tennessee’s pitching coach from 2007-10, and helped that club to consecutive Southern League Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010. Prior to his time with Chicago, Lewallyn spent 11 seasons working with Arizona’s minor league system, including minor league pitching coordinator from 2002-06. He began his coaching career in the Dodgers system, working as a pitching instructor from 1983-95.
James Rowson begins his first season with the organization as the minor league hitting coordinator after six seasons in the New York Yankees organization, including the last four as their minor league hitting coordinator. Prior to spending the 2006-07 seasons as hitting coach at Single-A Tampa, he served four seasons in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim system as a minor league hitting coach. The 35-year-old Rowson is a former outfielder who played professionally from 1995-98, including time in the Seattle Mariners and Yankees organizations (1995-97).
Tom Beyers returns for his 13th season with the organization, and his first as short season hitting coordinator, a newly created position. In this role, he will focus on players with Single-A Boise, Rookie-League Mesa and the Cubs Dominican clubs. Beyers was minor league hitting coordinator in 2011 following two seasons as Tennessee’s hitting coach. Prior to joining the Cubs in 2000, Beyers spent 21 seasons in the Dodgers chain as a minor league player, coach or manager.
Bill Dancy enters his first season as infield coordinator in his third year with the organization. He managed Iowa in 2011 after earning the 2010 Southern League Manager of the Year award while guiding Tennessee to the Southern League Championship Series. Dancy has 38 years experience as a player, coach or manager in professional baseball and has amassed 1,670 victories in 23 minor league campaigns as a manager. A former infielder, he played six years of pro ball in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system, hitting .273 in 464 games from 1973-78. Dancy takes over for Franklin Font, who was named a special assistant on the major league coaching staff.
Marty Pevey begins his third season as catching coordinator after managing the Single-A Peoria Chiefs in 2009, his first year with the Cubs organization. Pevey brings 13 years of playing experience and 10 seasons as a manager to the position. The former catcher managed the Rookie-League Medicine Hat Blue Jays (1996-97), the Single-A Hagerstown Suns (1998), the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays (2000-02), the Double-A New Haven Ravens (2003) and the Triple-A Syracuse SkyChiefs (2004-05).
Lee Tinsley enters his second year as the organization’s outfield/baserunning coordinator. He has 11 years of coaching experience following a 14-year playing career that included five major league seasons with Seattle (1993, 1997), Boston (1994-96) and Philadelphia (1996). He was Seattle’s major league first base coach in 2009-10 after serving in the same capacity with the Diamondbacks from 2006-08. Tinsley was Arizona’s roving outfield instructor from 2003-05, the same position he held with Anaheim in 2002. He began his instructional career in 2001 as Double-A El Paso’s hitting coach.
Carmelo Martinez enters his 15th season in the Cubs organization, and his fifth as Latin American field coordinator. The former major league outfielder and first baseman spent 10 seasons at Mesa, handling managerial duties from 1999-2003 and 2006. His 2002 Mesa club won the Arizona League title with a 35-21 record. Martinez hit .245 with 108 homers and 424 RBI in nine seasons with the Cubs (1983), Padres (1984-89), Philadelphia (1990), Pittsburgh (1990-91), Kansas City (1991) and Cincinnati (1991).
Doug Jarrow begins his fifth season as Chicago’s strength and conditioning coordinator. He previously spent five years in the Dodgers organization, including 2003-05 as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and 2006-07 as the major league strength coach. Jarrow began his career as a minor league strength and conditioning coach with Tampa Bay in 1998 and Pittsburgh in 1999.
Justin Sharpe returns as minor league athletic training coordinator for the eighth-consecutive year. He joined the organization in 2003 as the athletic trainer for Double-A West Tenn after six years as an athletic trainer in Atlanta’s system. Sharpe earned the South Atlantic League’s Trainer of the Year award in 2002 and was recognized with the same honor in the Southern League in 2004.
Chuck Baughman enters his seventh season as rehabilitation coordinator, and his 12th year with the organization, after joining the club as Single-A Boise’s athletic trainer in 2001. His career in professional baseball began in 1999 when he was the athletic trainer for Single-A Clinton in Cincinnati’s system.
And the coaching staffs:
Dave Bialas will manage the Iowa Cubs in his 18th year with the Cubs organization after serving as Chicago’s minor league field coordinator for the last 10 seasons. A 40-year veteran of professional baseball, he has 13 seasons of minor league managerial experience, compiling a 912-881 record and leading his teams to six league championship series. Mike Mason will serve a fifth term as Iowa’s pitching coach while Dave Keller, who served as the Cubs major league special assistant in 2011, will make his debut as Iowa’s hitting coach. Keller spent the 2004-10 seasons as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator. Nick Frangella enters his first season as the club’s athletic trainer and his ninth year in the Cubs chain.
Buddy Bailey takes over at Tennessee after guiding Daytona to a 215-196 (.523) record in the last three seasons. A minor league manager for 23 years (with the Cubs since 2006), Bailey previously worked in Boston’s (1991-2004) and Atlanta’s (1982-90) organizations. Former major leaguer Jeff Fassero takes over as Tennessee’s pitching coach after handling the same duty for Peoria last season. Fassero went 121-124 with a 4.11 ERA between Montreal (1991-96), Seattle (1997-99), Texas (1999), Boston (2000), the Cubs (2001-02), St. Louis (2002-03), Colorado (2004), Arizona (2004) and San Francisco (2005-06). Mariano Duncan, a 12-year major league veteran infielder (1985-87, 1989-97), enters his second campaign as the club’s hitting coach after spending the previous five seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers major league first base coach. Aaron Larson, with Peoria in 2011, begins his first year as Tennessee’s athletic trainer.
Brian Harper takes over at Daytona after helping Tennessee advance to the Southern League Championship Series last season, his first in the Cubs organization. Harper batted .295 in 1,001 big league games from 1979-95 and made World Series appearances with the Cardinals in 1985 and the Twins in 1991. Harper’s staff includes Marty Mason, who last year handled the pitching coach duties with the Smokies after spending the previous 25 seasons as a coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system, including 11 as the major league bullpen coach. In addition, Desi Wilson enters his fifth season in the Cubs organization, his first as Tennessee’s hitting coach, after serving as Boise’s hitting coach in 2011. Peter Fagan begins his second season with the Cubs organization, first with Tennessee after serving as athletic trainer for Daytona in 2011. Fagan brings 28 years experience to the position, having also worked in the St. Louis Cardinals (1982-2000) and Houston Astros (2001-10) organizations.
Casey Kopitzke enters his fourth season as a minor league manager in the Cubs chain, his third at Peoria. He made his managerial debut in 2009 with Boise after two seasons as the Cubs minor league catching coordinator. Tom Pratt begins his 13th year as a pitching coach within the Cubs system and his second stint at Peoria after serving in the same role in 2005. Barbaro Garbey, who handled hitting coach duties at Daytona last season, returns to Peoria for his third stint as the Chiefs hitting coach. Shane Nelson, who worked with Mesa in 2011, begins his first year as Peoria’s athletic trainer.
Mark Johnson returns for his second season as Boise skipper after leading the Hawks to their first playoff berth since 2006 in his first year as manager. Assisting Johnson and serving as pitching coach for the second-consecutive season is David Rosario, who is entering his eighth season as a minor league coach in the Cubs system. The Hawks have yet to have a hitting coach assigned to the squad. Bob Grimes, in his 28th season with the organization, returns as the club’s athletic trainer for the second-consecutive year.
Bobby Mitchell joins the organization and takes over managerial duties at Mesa after spending the last nine years in the Angels organization, five as a minor league manager. He served as the Angels roving outfield, baserunning and bunting coordinator for the 2011 season. Former Cubs pitcher and 13-year major league veteran Frank Castillo returns for his second-straight season as the Mesa pitching coach. The righthander compiled an 82-104 record and a 4.56 ERA with Chicago (1991-97), Colorado (1997), Detroit (1998), Toronto (2000), Boston (2001-02, 2004) and Florida (2005). Rick Tronerud returns for his 17th year with the Cubs and his 12th season with Mesa, serving as the club’s rehab pitching coach. Former Cubs outfielder Jason Dubois returns for his second season, again handling hitting coach duties for Mesa. Steve Melendez, in his 27th season with the organization, returns as the club’s athletic trainer for the fifth season.
The Cubs will again run two clubs in the Dominican Summer League. The first team will be managed by Juan Cabreja, who is in his ninth year with the organization, after serving as Mesa’s manager for three seasons. Anderson Tavares returns for his sixth year as pitching coach. Ricardo Medina, who has been a coach, manager or scout for the Cubs organization since 1999, will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Leo Perez begins his fourth season as a coach in Chicago’s organization, assisting the club with catching coordinator duties. Wilkin Perez returns as the club’s athletic trainer in his second year with the organization.
Yudith Ozorio will manage the second Dominican squad, the same position he held for the past two seasons. Leo Hernandez will handle pitching coach duties in his 17th year with the club while Franklin Blanco will take on hitting coach duties in his sixth year with the organization. Robert Jimenez, in his 12th year with the organization, returns as the team’s athletic trainer.