Astros announce 2012 minor league field staff

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today the 2012 field staffs for all eight of their minor league affiliates. The 2012 managerial corps is made up of Tony DeFrancesco (Triple A Oklahoma City), Keith Bodie (Double A Corpus Christi), Rodney Linares (Class A Lancaster), Ivan De Jesus (Class A Lexington), Stubby Clapp (Short-Season Class A Tri-City), Omar Lopez (Rookie League Greeneville), Ed Romero (Rookie Gulf Coast League) and Luis Martinez (Dominican Summer League).

Tony DeFrancesco returns for his second season as the club's manager at Oklahoma City. The 2012 season will be DeFrancesco's 17th as a minor league manager and his 26th season as a player, coach or manager in professional baseball. Prior to joining Oklahoma City, DeFrancesco was with Triple A Sacramento in Oakland's organization, where he served seven seasons (2003-07, 2009-10), managing the River Cats to six first-place finishes in the Pacific Coast League Southern Division. DeFrancesco also has Major League coaching experience, having served as the Athletics' third base coach in 2008.

Former Major League pitcher Burt Hooton returns for his eighth consecutive season as the organization's pitching coach at the Triple A level. Prior to his current post, Hooton served as the Astros Major League pitching coach for parts of five season from 2000-04. Hitting coach Leon Roberts joins the organization after spending the 2011 season as Atlanta's minor league hitting coordinator. Athletic trainer Mike Freer returns for his 23rd season with the Astros organization and his 16th at the Triple A level. Gary McCoy will serve as the club's strength and conditioning coach.

Keith Bodie will return to the managerial seat at Corpus Christi next season after spending the previous four seasons in the Astros organization as a hitting coach. He spent the 2009-10 seasons with the club's Triple A affiliate, 2009 with Corpus Christi and 2008 with Class A Salem. Bodie has 14 years of minor league managerial experience, having won division titles on seven occasions. He last managed in 2005 for Double A Harrisburg in Washington's organization.

Pitching coach Gary Ruby joins Corpus Christi's staff for his sixth consecutive season as a pitching coach in the Astros organization and his first at Corpus Christi. He's spent the last five seasons as a pitching coach for Tri-City (2009-11) and Class A Salem (2007-08). Joel Chimelis will be the Hooks' new hitting coach, a position he's held for the last six seasons in the Astros system with Lexington (2011) and Tri-City (2006-10). Athletic trainer Eric Montague returns for his second consecutive season with Corpus Christi and his 11th season as a trainer in the Astros organization.

Rodney Linares has been promoted from Lexington to Lancaster for 2012, where he'll serve his sixth consecutive season as a manager in the Astros system. The 2012 campaign will be Linares' 14th in Houston's organization, where he's had a myriad of roles, including managerial experience at Lexington (2010-11) and Greeneville (2007-09). He also served as Lexington's hitting coach from 2005-06 and as a scout and hitting coach for the Astros Dominican Republic operations from 1999-2004.

Joining Linares' staff at Lancaster will be Don Alexander (pitching coach), Darryl Robinson (hitting coach) and Bryan Baca (athletic trainer). Alexander is making a return to Lancaster, where he was the pitching coach from 2009-10, after spending the 2011 campaign as Corpus Christi's pitching coach. Robinson is a returning member of Lancaster's coaching staff in 2012, which will be his fourth season with the club. Baca will be Lancaster's athletic trainer for the second straight year, which marks his sixth season in the Astros organization. He previously held that same position with Tri-City (2008-10) and Greeneville (2007).

Ivan De Jesus rejoins the Astros organization as the manager at Lexington after spending the last five seasons as a member of the Chicago Cubs coaching staff. In those five seasons, De Jesus served as the Cubs third base coach (2011) and first base coach (2010) and as a special assistant to Manager Lou Piniella from 2007-09. De Jesus has a long history with the Astros organization, having served as a coach, manager or minor league coordinator for 13 seasons (1994-2006) in Houston's system.

Filling out De Jesus' staff will be Dave Borkowski (pitching coach), Josh Bonifay (hitting coach) and Grant Hufford (athletic trainer). Borkowski and Hufford both return with Lexington, having held the same positions with the Legends in 2011 and with Tri-City in 2010. Borkowki, a former Astros pitcher, will be coaching for his third season, while Hufford will be returning for his fifth season (2008-11) in the Astros system. Bonifay is being promoted from Greeneville for his second consecutive year as a hitting coach in Houston's system.

The 2012 season will be Stubby Clapp's second managing Tri-City and his sixth as a coach in the Astros organization. In addition to managing the ValleyCats last season, he also served as the club's roving infield instructor. Prior to joining the managerial ranks, he spent four seasons as a hitting coach with Lexington (2008, 2010) and Greeneville (2007, 2009). Clapp played professionally for 11 seasons from 1996-2006 which included stops in the St. Louis (1996-2002), Atlanta (2003) and Toronto (2004) organizations. He also played two seasons of independent ball (2005-06).

Clapp's staff will consist of Rick Aponte (pitching coach), Mark Bailey (hitting coach) and Michael Rendon (athletic trainer). Aponte is being promoted from Greeneville to serve his fourth consecutive season as a pitching coach in the Astros system. The 2012 campaign is his 36th season in Houston's minor league system as either a player, coach or scout. Bailey, the Astros bullpen coach from 2002-09, returns for his second year with Tri-City and his third consecutive as a hitting coach (also, Corpus Christi in 2010). Rendon returns for his second season in the Astros system and his first above rookie level Greeneville. He previously served as a student athletic trainer with Southern Illinois University.

Omar Lopez returns for his second consecutive year managing Greeneville and his fifth consecutive year as a manager in the Astros system. Prior to joining Greeneville, Lopez managed the Venezuelan Summer League Astros in 2008 and the GCL Astros for two seasons from 2009-10. While with the GCL Astros, he earned the Astros 2010 Player Development Man of the Year.

Joining Lopez's staff will be Hector Mercado (pitching coach), Cesar Cedeno (hitting coach) and Corey O'Brien (athletic trainer). Mercado is being promoted from the GCL Astros to Greeneville to serve as a pitching coach for the third consecutive season. Mercado had a 15-year professional playing career. Cedeno returns to the organization in a full-time role in 2012 for the first time since 2001. Cedeno played 12 season (1970-81) with the Astros, collecting five Gold Gloves as an outfielder and appearing in four All-Star Games. Following his playing career, Cedeno served as a coach or instructor for the organization for 10 seasons (1990-94, 1997-2001). His last full-time coaching stint was in 2009 with Washington's organization.

Ed Romero will again manage the GCL Astros in 2012, his 20th year as a professional coach. He is three years removed from the Astros Major League staff, having served as the bench coach in 2009 and the third base coach in 2008. He has managed a total of 10 seasons in the minor leagues between the Houston, Milwaukee and San Diego organizations.

Edgar Alfonzo, who returns as the club's hitting coach for the second season, will be joined by pitching coaches Jaime Garcia and Charley Taylor, and assistant coach Gordy MacKenzie. Garcia joins the GCL Astros staff after spending his 2011 season as the organization's minor league pitching coordinator. Taylor, who was named the club's 2011 Player Development Man of the Year, returns as a pitching coach in the Astros system for his 29th season as a coach in the organization and his 35th overall. MacKenzie returns to the GCL Astros for his fourth consecutive seasons with the club. Steve Miller, the head athletic trainer for the Marlins' Triple A affiliate over the last six seasons, will serve in the same capacity for the GCL Astros.

The Astros Dominican Summer League team will be managed by Luis Martinez for the fourth consecutive season. Jose Martinez will stay on for his second year as the pitching coach for the DSL Astros. His bullpen coach will be Joel Santos. Luis Mateo returns for his fourth season as the club's hitting coach. The instructor positions will be filled by former Astros minor leaguer Juan Zapata (outfield), Johan Maya (infield) and Sixto Ortega (catching). Ramon Garcia will return to the DSL Astros as an assistant coach. Ambiorix Reyes will remain on the DSL staff as the athletic trainer, while Edwin Garcia will be the assistant trainer. Geremias Guzman will return for his eighth season as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the DSL.


Field Coordinator - Paul Runge
Pitching Coordinator - Jon Matlack
Hitting Coordinator - Ty Van Burkleo
Roving Infield Instructor - Tom Lawless
Roving OF / Base Running - Milt Thompson
Roving Catching Instructor - Danny Sheaffer
Strength & Conditioning - Frank Renner
Medical Coordinator - Jamey Snodgrass
Rehab Coordinator - Daniel Roberts

Manager - Tony DeFrancesco
Pitching Coach - Burt Hooton
Hitting Coach - Leon Roberts
Athletic Trainer - Mike Freer
Strength & Conditioning - Gary McCoy

Manager - Keith Bodie
Pitching Coach - Gary Ruby
Hitting Coach - Joel Chimelis
Athletic Trainer - Eric Montague

Manager - Rodney Linares
Pitching Coach - Don Alexander
Hitting Coach - Darryl Robinson
Athletic Trainer - Bryan Baca

Manager - Ivan De Jesus
Pitching Coach - Dave Borkowski
Hitting Coach - Josh Bonifay
Athletic Trainer - Grant Hufford

Manager - Stubby Clapp
Pitching Coach - Rick Aponte
Hitting Coach - Mark Bailey
Athletic Trainer - Michael Rendon

Manager - Omar Lopez
Pitching Coach - Hector Mercado
Hitting Coach - Cesar Cedeno
Athletic Trainer - Corey O'Brien

Manager - Ed Romero
Pitching Coach - Jaime Garcia
Pitching Coach - Charley Taylor
Hitting Coach - Edgar Alfonzo
Assistant Coach - Gordy MacKenzie
Athletic Trainer - Steve Miller

Manager - Luis Martinez
Pitching Coach - Jose Martinez
Bullpen Coach - Joel Santo
Hitting Coach - Luis Mateo
Infield Instructor - Johan Maya
Assistant Coach - Ramon Garcia
Outfield Instructor - Juan Zapata
Catching Instructor - Sixto Ortega
Athletic Trainer - Ambiorix Reyes
Assistant Trainer - Edwin Garcia
Strength & Conditioning - Geremias Guzman