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Astros announce 2013 minor league field staff

HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Astros announced today the 2013 field staffs for all eight of their minor league affiliates. The 2013 managerial corps is made up of Tony DeFrancesco (Triple A Oklahoma City), Keith Bodie (Double A Corpus Christi), Rodney Linares (Class A Lancaster), Omar Lopez (Class A Quad Cities), Ed Romero (Short-Season Class A Tri-City), Josh Bonifay (Rookie League Greeneville), Edgar Alfonzo (Rookie Gulf Coast League) and Johan Maya (Dominican Summer League).

The Astros have made changes to their minor league field staffs in 2013 and have added four development specialists, with one being assigned to each of the club’s top four affiliates. These specialists are Tom Lawless (Oklahoma City), Mark Bailey (Corpus Christi), Morgan Ensberg (Lancaster) and Vince Coleman (Quad Cities). Lawless (infield), Bailey (catching), Ensberg (infield) and Coleman (outfield/baserunning) will be with their assigned club on homestands, coaching pregame and scouting each contest. When their clubs go on road trips, the development specialists will scout their respective league or serve as a roving instructor in the Astros system on a case-by-case basis.

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The Astros have also added former Major League shortstop Adam Everett as an infield instructor. He will work with both the Major League team as well as the organization’s minor league players and staff focusing on the development of infielders. He will be attending portions of Major and minor league spring training and will visit affiliates and the Major League club several times throughout the season. Everett played 11 Major League seasons (2001-11), including seven years with the Astros (2001-07), and appeared in 800 career games. He appeared in 152 games for the 2005 Astros and started at shortstop in all 14 games that postseason, including four starts in the World Series.

TRIPLE A OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS

Tony DeFrancesco returns for his third season as the club’s manager at Oklahoma City. The RedHawks were 78-65 in 2012, narrowly missing the postseason. DeFrancesco also skippered the Astros Major League club on an interim basis for the final 41 games last season after being named to the post on Aug. 19. He led the club to a 15-15 finish (beginning on Sept. 1) and went 16-25 overall. The 2013 season will be DeFrancesco’s 18th as a minor league manager and his 27th 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) as the River Cats manager, guiding them to six first-place finishes in the PCL. In addition to his time with the Astros last year, DeFrancesco also coached in the Major Leagues as Oakland’s third base coach in 2008.

Steve Webber joins Houston’s organization from San Diego, where he spent his last nine seasons as a pitching coach, including his last three with Triple A Tucson. Hitting coach Leon Roberts returns to Oklahoma City for his second season in that position. Tom Lawless, who will work extensively with the club’s infielders, has been with the Astros organization since 2009 and served as the club’s roving infield instructor in 2012. Athletic trainer Mike Freer returns for his 24th season with the Astros organization and his 17th at the Triple A level. Alex Pounds will serve as the club’s strength and conditioning coach.

DOUBLE A CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS

Keith Bodie will return as Corpus Christi’s manager for his second consecutive season, which will mark his sixth consecutive with the organization. Prior to being named the Hooks manager in 2011, Bodie served as the Astros hitting coach at the Class A (2008), Double A (2009) and Triple A levels (2009-10). Bodie has 16 years of minor league managerial experience, having won division titles on eight occasions. The 2012 Texas League Manager of the Year led the Hooks to the postseason with a Texas League best 81-59 record last season, including a 44-26 mark in the second half of play. On May 11, Bodie earned his 1,000th career victory.

Pitching coach Gary Ruby returns to Corpus Christi’s staff for his seventh consecutive season as a pitching coach in the Astros organization and his second at Corpus Christi. Tim Garland will be the Hooks new hitting coach, a position he’s held for the last seven seasons (2006-12) in Oakland’s minor league system, including his last two at Double A Midland. Former Astros catcher (1984-88) and bullpen coach (2002-09) Mark Bailey will concentrate on coaching the club’s catching prospects. Athletic trainer Bryan Baca has been promoted to Corpus Christi after spending two seasons at Lancaster (2011-12) and seven seasons with the organization overall. Trey Weidman will serve as the club’s strength and conditioning coach.

CLASS A LANCASTER JETHAWKS

The California League champion Lancaster JetHawks will return Rodney Linares as their manager for his second consecutive season at the helm of the JetHawks and his seventh consecutive season as a manager in the Astros system. The 2013 campaign will be Linares’ 15th 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.

The JetHawks will also have Don Alexander (pitching coach) and Darryl Robinson (hitting coach) returning in the same roles they held last season. Morgan Ensberg, who will concentrate on coaching the club’s infielders, played eight seasons (2000, 2002-08) in the Major Leagues, which included his first seven seasons with the Astros. An All-Star in 2005, Ensberg led the Astros to the World Series that season after posting 36 home runs and 101 RBI in the regular season. Grant Hufford is being promoted from Class A Lexington to serve his sixth season as an athletic trainer in the Astros system.

CLASS A QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS

The newest member of the Astros affiliates will be managed by Omar Lopez, who is being promoted from Rookie League Greeneville. This season will be Lopez’s sixth consecutive year as a manager in the Astros system. He managed Greeneville for two seasons (2011-12) and also managed the Venezuelan Summer League Astros in 2008 and the GCL Astros from 2009-10. While with the GCL Astros, he was named the Astros 2010 Player Development Man of the Year.

Filling out Lopez’s staff will be Dave Borkowski (pitching coach), Joel Chimelis (hitting coach), Vince Coleman (outfielder/baserunning developmental specialist) and Steve Miller (athletic trainer). Borkowki, a former Astros pitcher, will be coaching for his fourth season, while Chimelis will be returning for his eighth season (2006-12) in the Astros system. Coleman played 13 seasons (1985-97) in the Major Leagues and posted a career .264 average with 752 stolen bases in 1,371 games, which ranks sixth all-time and tops among players with 13 or fewer seasons. Coleman is also the only player in ML history to steal over 100 bases in three consecutive seasons (1985-87) while playing for St. Louis. Miller, who was the head athletic trainer for the Marlins Triple A affiliate for six seasons (2006-11), is being promoted from the Astros GCL affiliate.

SHORT-SEASON CLASS A TRI-CITY VALLEYCATS

Ed Romero will manage Tri-City in 2013, which will be his 21st year as a professional manager or coach. He is four 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 11 seasons in the minor leagues between the Houston, Milwaukee and San Diego organizations. He spent his last two seasons managing the GCL Astros.

Romero’s staff will consist of Doug White (pitching coach), Russ Steinhorn (hitting coach) and Michael Rendon (athletic trainer). White joins the Astros organization after spending his last five seasons as a pitching coach in St. Louis’ minor league system. He was with Rookie League Johnson City over his last four seasons. Steinhorn joins the Astros organization from the collegiate ranks, where he most recently served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Delaware State. Rendon returns for his third season in the Astros system and his second at Tri-City.

ROOKIE LEAGUE GREENEVILLE ASTROS

The 2013 season will be Josh Bonifay’s first as a minor league manager. An eight-year minor league veteran, Bonifay began his coaching career as a player/coach in the Pirates organization (2007-09) before joining Houston in 2011. He was the hitting coach for Greeneville in 2011 and spent last season as the hitting coach for Class A Lexington, where he represented the Legends as a coach on the 2012 Postseason All-Star Team. Bonifay played in 812 minor league games, which included a stint with Double A Corpus Christi in 2006.

Joining Bonifay’s staff will be Josh Miller (pitching coach), Cesar Cedeno (hitting coach) and Corey O’Brien (athletic trainer). Miller, a former Astros minor league pitcher, played with Bonifay at Corpus Christi in 2006. The 2013 season will be his first as a coach in the club’s minor league system after spending the last two seasons as a professional scout for the Astros. Cedeno returns to Greeneville for his second consecutive season. The four-time All-Star played 12 seasons (1970-81) with the Astros and collected five Gold Gloves as an outfielder. Following his playing career, Cedeno served as a coach or instructor for the organization for 10 seasons (1990-94, 1997-2001). O’Brien returns for his second season as Greeneville’s athletic trainer.

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE ASTROS

Edgar Alfonzo returns to the managerial seat after serving the last two seasons as the hitting coach for the GCL Astros. Alfonzo has six years of minor league managerial experience (2000-01, 2007-10), all coming in the Mets organization. In his career, he’s also worked as New York’s minor league infield coordinator (2004-06), Double A hitting coach (2003) and minor league assistant coach (1998-99, 2002).

Hector Mercado (pitching coach) and Marty Malloy (hitting coach) will be joined by coach Gordy MacKenzie and athletic trainer Christian Bermudez. Mercado has been coaching in the Astros system for three seasons, which included two seasons in the GCL (2010-11) and one year at Greeneville (2012). Malloy played 12 seasons (1992-2003) of minor league baseball and appeared in 35 career Major League games while playing for Atlanta (1998) and Florida (2002). MacKenzie returns to the GCL Astros for his fifth consecutive season with the club.

ROOKIE LEVEL DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE ASTROS

The Astros Dominican Summer League team will be managed by Johan Maya, who served the last two seasons as the infield instructor for the DSL Astros. Rick Aponte returns to the DSL Astros as the club’s pitching coach. Aponte has worked 36 seasons in the Astros minor league system, which included a 14-year run (1993-2006) in the Dominican. Luis Mateo returns for his fifth season as the club’s hitting coach. The instructor positions will be filled by former Astros minor leaguer Juan Zapata (outfield) and Sixto Ortega (catching). Ambiorix Reyes will remain on the DSL staff as the athletic trainer, while Geremias Guzman will return for his ninth season as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the DSL.

 

2013 MINOR LEAGUE STAFF

COORDINATORS, ROVERS & MEDICAL STAFF

Field Coordinator                         Paul Runge

Pitching Coordinator                 Dyar Miller

Hitting Coordinator                     Ralph Dickenson

Roving Pitching Instructor      Craig Bjornson

Roving Hitting Instructor         Jeff Albert

Strength & Conditioning          Brendan Verner

Medical Coordinator                  Jamey Snodgrass

Rehab Coordinator                      Daniel Roberts

 

OKLAHOMA CITY

Manager                                            Tony DeFrancesco

Pitching Coach                              Steve Webber

Hitting Coach                                  Leon Roberts

Infield Coach                                   Tom Lawless

Athletic Trainer                              Mike Freer

Strength & Conditioning          Alex Pounds   

 

CORPUS CHRISTI

Manager                                            Keith Bodie

Pitching Coach                              Gary Ruby

Hitting Coach                                  Tim Garland

Catching Coach                             Mark Bailey

Athletic Trainer                              Bryan Baca

Strength & Conditioning          Trey Weidman               

 

LANCASTER

Manager                                            Rodney Linares

Pitching Coach                              Don Alexander

Hitting Coach                                  Darryl Robinson

Infield Coach                                   Morgan Ensberg

Athletic Trainer                              Grant Hufford

 

QUAD CITIES

Manager                                            Omar Lopez

Pitching Coach                              Dave Borkowski

Hitting Coach                                  Joel Chimelis

Outfield/Baserunning Coach Vince Coleman              

Athletic Trainer                              Steve Miller

 

TRI-CITY

Manager                                            Ed Romero

Pitching Coach                              Doug White

Hitting Coach                                  Russ Steinhorn

Athletic Trainer                              Michael Rendon

 

GREENEVILLE

Manager                                            Josh Bonifay

Pitching Coach                              Josh Miller

Hitting Coach                                  Cesar Cedeno

Athletic Trainer                              Corey O’Brien

 

GULF COAST LEAGUE

Manager                                            Edgar Alfonzo

Pitching Coach                              Hector Mercado

Hitting Coach                                  Marty Malloy

Coach                                                  Gordy MacKenzie

Athletic Trainer                              Christian Bermudez

 

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE

Manager                                            Johan Maya

Pitching Coach                              Rick Aponte

Hitting Coach                                  Luis Mateo

Outfield Instructor                       Juan Zapata

Catching Instructor                      Sixto Ortega

Athletic Trainer                              Ambiorix Reyes

Strength & Conditioning          Geremias Guzman

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