HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today the club's three minor league coordinators, two roving instructors, special assignment coach and medical staff members for the 2014 season. The Astros coordinators are Paul Runge (field coordinator), Dyar Miller (pitching coordinator) and Jeff Albert (hitting coordinator). Doug White will serve as a roving pitching instructor, while Adam Everett will return to the club as an infield instructor. Morgan Ensberg is returning to the club in a new role as minor league special assignment coach. Brendan Verner (strength and conditioning coordinator), Jamey Snodgrass (medical coordinator) and Daniel Roberts (rehab coordinator) make up the club's minor league medical staff.
Runge returns for his fourth season as the club's minor league field coordinator. Prior to joining Houston's organization in 2011, Runge compiled 14 years of minor league managerial experience, all coming in Atlanta's system, which included three Appalachian League Championships while managing Rookie Level Danville (2005-06, 2009). Runge also enjoyed an eight-year Major League playing career with Atlanta from 1981-88.
Miller returns to the Astros for his second season as pitching coordinator after joining the organization in 2013. He most recently served as the Cardinals Major League bullpen coach in 2012 and worked as the organization's minor league pitching coordinator for four seasons from 2008-11. Miller's pitching career lasted 17 seasons (1968-84), which included nine Major League seasons as a reliever with four different MLB clubs, during which he posted a 3.23 ERA in 251 career appearances. He joined the coaching ranks in 1985 and has served as a coach, pitching coach, bullpen coach or roving pitching instructor over the last 29 seasons (1985-2013). The 2014 season will be Miller's 47th consecutive season working in baseball.
Albert was promoted to hitting coordinator after spending the 2013 season as the Astros roving hitting instructor. Prior to joining the Astros organization in 2013, Albert spent five seasons as a hitting coach in the Cardinals minor league system. He graduated from Butler University before playing professionally in the independent leagues. Albert began his coaching career in 2008 as hitting coach at Class A Short Season Batavia before moving up to Class A Advanced Palm Beach, where he served as hitting coach from 2009-12. He received his Master's degree in Exercise Science at Louisiana Tech University, where he was involved in various baseball training research studies. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
White was named roving pitching instructor for what will be his second season in the Astros organization. He served as pitching coach for the Class A Short Season Tri-City ValleyCats in 2013 and helped lead the club to the New York-Penn League Championship title. White managed a pitching staff that ranked second in all of the minor leagues in strikeout to walk ratio (3.84), while ranking second in the New York-Penn League with 619 strikeouts. Before joining the Astros, White spent five seasons as a pitching coach in the Cardinals minor league system for Class A Short Season Batavia (2008) and Rookie Level Johnson City (2009-12).
Former Astros shortstop Adam Everett returns to the club for his second season as infield instructor, a position that was newly created in 2013. In his current role, he works with both the Major League team and minor league players, focusing on the development of infielders. Everett played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues (2001-11), including seven with the Astros (2001-07), making just 85 errors in 827 career games (.976 fielding percentage). His .990 fielding percentage (7 E, 688 TC) in 2006 is the best by a shortstop in franchise history for a single season, and ranked second in the NL that year. Everett's .979 combined fielding percentage from 2003-06 ranked third in the NL in that span. Prior to starting his coaching career in 2013, Everett spent the 2012 season as a special assistant to the baseball operations department with the Cleveland Indians.
Ensberg returns to the Astros for his second season and his first as minor league special assignment coach. In his new role, Ensberg will travel throughout the Astros system to instruct infielders and work with the club's minor league players. Last year, Ensberg joined the professional coaching ranks as an infield coach with Class A Advanced Lancaster. The former third baseman played eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Astros (2000, 2002-07), Padres (2007) and Yankees (2008). After his playing career, Ensberg served as a coach for the University of Southern California and the University of California, San Diego. He also spent time as a college baseball analyst for ESPN and as a co-host for SiriusXM's MLB Roundtrip radio show.
Verner returns for his second season as strength and conditioning coach after joining the organization in 2013. Verner most recently served as San Diego's assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at the minor league level from 2011-12. He spent six years as either a strength and conditioning coach or an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland (2004-05, 2007-09) and Pittsburgh (2010) minor league systems. Verner graduated from Cleveland State University with a Master of Arts in Exercise Science, and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a registered strength and conditioning coach.
Snodgrass returns to serve as the club's medical coordinator for the fourth consecutive season. Snodgrass has been working as a trainer in the Astros system since 1999, having also made stops at Class A Auburn (1999-2000), Class A Michigan (2001-02), Double A Round Rock (2003-04) and Double A Corpus Christi (2005-10). Snodgrass also works with the Major League players in Spring Training and in September.
Roberts returns to his role as the organization's rehab coordinator for the fourth consecutive season. Roberts is based out of the Astros Spring Training complex in Kissimmee, FL, where he assists injured and recovering Major and minor league players with the medical rehabilitation process. Prior to joining the Astros in 2011, Roberts served as an assistant athletic trainer at Charleston Southern University.