It’s Wednesday, which means you’re halfway through your work week. If that makes you so excited that you can’t sleep, find a new job. We’ve got some Cubs “news” to talk about today.
The Cubs announced the Minor League managers on Monday. Here was the press release:
Marty Pevey will manage the Iowa Cubs in his fifth year with the Cubs organization after serving as Chicago’s catching coordinator for the last three seasons. Pevey served as the Peoria Chiefs manager in 2009, his first season with the organization. Pevey has a combined 29 years of professional experience (13 years as player and 16 years as manager, coach or coordinator) and was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year after leading Peoria to the Western Division semifinals with an 81-57 record. Mike Mason returns for his sixth season as Iowa’s pitching coach. Brian Harper will make his debut as Iowa’s hitting coach after spending the last two campaigns managing Double-A Tennessee (in 2011) and Single-A Daytona (in 2012). In his first season with the Cubs organization, Harper led the Smokies to the 2011 Southern League Championship Series. Nick Frangella will begin his 10th season with the organization, and his second year as Iowa’s athletic trainer, while Ed Kohl serves as the strength coach.
Buddy Bailey begins his second season as Tennessee’s manager after guiding the Smokies to a 72-68 record last year. Bailey spent three years as Daytona’s skipper prior to joining the Smokies, compiling a 215-196 (.523) record, including a 2011 Florida State League Championship. Next season will mark Bailey’s 25th year as a manager and his eighth year with the organization. Jeff Fassero returns for his second season as Tennessee’s pitching coach after handling the same duties with Single-A Peoria in 2011 and Single-A Boise in 2010. Fassero went 121-124 with a 4.11 ERA in 16 big league seasons (1991-2006). Desi Wilson, entering his sixth season with the organization, will serve as the hitting coach after handling the same duties last season at Single-A Daytona. Scott Barringer will make his Tennessee debut as the athletic trainer, while Ryan Clausen takes over strength coach duties.
Dave Keller takes over managerial duties at Daytona after serving as Iowa’s hitting coach in 2012. Entering his 10th season with the organization, Keller was an assistant on the major league coaching staff in 2011. Joining Keller at Daytona will be newly hired pitching coach Storm Davis, who spent the last two seasons in the Texas organization as Single-A Hickory’s pitching coach. Davis spent time as a coach for The Bolles Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., winning the Class 3A Florida State Championship in both 2009 and 2010. The former major league righthander went 113-96 with a 4.02 ERA during a 13-year major league career. Mariano Duncan begins his first season as Daytona’s hitting coach after serving the last two campaigns as Tennessee’s hitting coach. The 12-year major league veteran (1985-87, 1989-97) joined the Cubs in 2011 after spending the previous five seasons (2006-10) as the Los Angeles Dodgers major league first base coach. Peter Fagan returns to Daytona as the athletic trainer.
Mark Johnson will manage the Kane County Cougars after spending the past two seasons as Boise’s skipper. Johnson led the Hawks to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons after enjoying a 17-year professional playing career that included 332 major league games with the White Sox (1998-2002), Athletics (2003), Brewers (2004) and Cardinals (2008). Ron Villone begins his second season with the organization and will handle pitching coach duties. Tom Beyers, who has been with the Cubs for 13 years, will take over as hitting coach. He previously served as the short-season hitting coordinator for Single-A Boise, Rookie-League Mesa and the Cubs Dominican clubs in 2012. Shane Nelson rounds out the staff as the team’s athletic trainer after working with Peoria last season.
Gary Van Tol enters his first season as Boise’s skipper, and brings 20 years of coaching experience. He assisted the Hawks as a volunteer coach the previous five seasons, and served as an associate scout for the organization. A veteran of the collegiate ranks, Van Tol was a coach for Gonzaga University (1991-93 and 2006-08) and the University of Portland (2003-05). He also managed at Centralia (Wash.) Community College in 1994 and at Treasure Valley Community College from 1997-2001. David Rosario returns as Boise’s pitching coach for the third-straight season, as 2013 will mark his ninth-consecutive campaign as a minor league coach in the Cubs system. Bill Buckner remains the team’s hitting coach after joining the club in the same position last season. Buckner enjoyed a 22-year major league playing career, playing for the Cubs from 1977-84. Jonathan Fierro begins his first season as Boise’s athletic trainer.
Bobby Mitchell returns for his second season as Rookie-League Mesa’s manager after spending nine seasons in the Angels organization, five as a minor league manager. Mitchell last year led the Mesa Cubs to the playoffs in his first season with the organization. Anderson Tavarez joins Mesa as its pitching coach after holding the same position with the Dominican Cubs the last six seasons. Rehab pitching coordinator duties will be handled by Rick Tronerud, in his 18th campaign with the Cubs and his 13th season with Mesa. The club will have two hitting coaches next season, Ricardo Medina and Jimmy Gonzalez. Medina has been a coach, manager or scout in the Cubs organization since 1999. Gonzalez is a former catcher who played 14 minor league seasons after he was selected in the first round by Houston in the 1991 draft. Steve Melendez, in his 28th season with the organization, returns as the club’s athletic trainer for the sixth season. Melendez will be assisted by rehab strength coach Yi-Chiang Chang.
Yudith Ozorio will manage the Dominican squad, the same position he has held for the past three seasons. Leo Hernandez will serve as the pitching coach in his 18th year with the club while Oscar Bernard makes his organization debut as the club’s hitting coach. Leo Perez begins his fifth season as a coach in Chicago’s organization, assisting the club with catching coordinator duties. Wilkin Perez will continue as the club’s athletic trainer in his third year with the organization. The Cubs will have only one Dominican team next season, and Juan Cabreja, who managed the second Dominican team last year, will serve as the Latin America Assistant Field Coordinator.
Osmin Melendez serves as the Venezuelan Cubs manager, a newly created team. He will be joined by hitting coach Franklin Blanco, who begins his seventh year with the organization.
It’s always nice to see names you recognize, and Jeff Fassaro is a nice one to see get a promotion and Bill Buckner makes the list as well.
The Cubs are still actively shopping Alfonso Soriano, with rumors that the Phillies and the Astros have at least inquired on the aging slugger. I’d have to say that the Soriano deal for Dominic Brown is a head scratcher on why the Phillies would make that deal, but I guess it fits their mold of getting older in a last ditch effort to hold onto the past. I’d do that deal in a heartbeat if Theo and Jed can get them to agree. Heck, eat the entire contract to make it happen.
Not much else going on at this point. Just have to sit and be patient. It’s funny because as bad as this last year or so has been for this team, you know for a fact that all of us will be super excited come opening day, even if it’s just for that day.