Cubs announce 2016 minor league managers and staff

The Chicago Cubs today announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2016 season.

Team: Triple-A Iowa
Manager: Marty Pevey
Pitching Coach: Rod Nichols
Hitting Coach: Brian Harper
Assistant Coach: Leo Perez
Athletic Trainers: Shane Nelson, Sean Folan
Strength Coach: Ryan Clausen

Marty Pevey begins his fourth season as Triple-A Iowa’s manager after serving as Chicago’s catching coordinator for three seasons from 2010-12. Pevey served as the Single-A Peoria manager in 2009, his first season with the organization. He has a combined 32 years of professional experience (13 years as a player and 19 years as a manager, coach or coordinator) and was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year. Joining Pevey at Iowa will be newly hired pitching coach, Rod Nichols, who spent the last three years as the Philadelphia Phillies major league bullpen coach. The 2016 campaign will mark Nichols’ 17th season as a coach. Originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 1985 draft, he appeared in seven big league seasons, going 11-31 with a 4.43 ERA (203 ER/412.2 IP) in 100 games (48 starts). Brian Harper returns for his fourth season as Iowa’s hitting coach after managing Double-A Tennessee in 2011 and Single-A Daytona in 2012. A former catcher, Harper played 16 seasons in the majors with seven teams. Rounding out the coaching staff is former Cubs farmhand Leo Perez, who begins his eighth season as a coach in the organization and second with Iowa. Shane Nelson joins Iowa as the team’s athletic trainer after handling the same responsibility in Tennessee the past two seasons. Sean Folan is the club’s assistant athletic trainer after last year serving as Mesa’s minor league rehab athletic trainer and strength coach, while Ryan Clausen enters his third season as Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach.

Team: Double-A Tennessee Smokies
Manager: Mark Johnson
Pitching Coach: Terry Clark
Hitting Coach: Desi Wilson
Assistant Coach: Osmin Melendez
Athletic Trainer: Jon Fierro
Strength Coach: Mike Megrew

Mark Johnson begins his first season as Tennessee’s manager after last season guiding Myrtle Beach to its first Carolina League Championship since 2000. Under Johnson, the Pelicans finished the regular season with an 81-57 mark, the best record in the Carolina League. In 2014, Johnson helped the Kane County Cougars win 91 games and record a .650 winning percentage, the highest winning mark of any full-season team. The 2016 season will mark Johnson’s sixth in the Cubs organization. Terry Clark begins his first season with the organization after spending the last two as the minor league pitching coordinator for the Seattle Mariners. In 2002, he guided the Double-A Akron pitching staff to an Eastern League-leading 3.09 ERA. Clark appeared in parts of six big league seasons, going 10-23 with one save and a 5.54 ERA (143 ER/232.2 IP) in 91 games. Desi Wilson, entering his ninth season with the organization, returns as the hitting coach for a fourth year after handling the same duties at Daytona in 2012. Osmin Melendez joins as an assistant coach after serving in a similar role last season with Single-A South Bend. Jon Fierro, in his fifth year with the organization, is the team’s athletic trainer, and Mike Megrew enters his third season as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Team: High-A Myrtle Beach
Manager: Buddy Bailey
Pitching Coach: Anderson Tavarez
Hitting Coach: Mariano Duncan
Assistant Coach: Juan Cabreja
Athletic Trainer: Toby Williams
Strength Coach: Jason Morriss

Buddy Bailey takes over as the manager of Single-A Myrtle Beach after spending the last four seasons as Tennessee’s manager, going 290-266 (.521). Bailey spent three years as Daytona’s skipper prior to joining the Smokies and helped the team to the 2011 Florida State League championship. Next season will mark Bailey’s 28th year as a manager and his 11th with the organization. Handling pitching coach duties at Myrtle Beach will be Anderson Tavarez, who served as Single-A Eugene’s pitching coach last season. Prior to joining Eugene, Tavarez spent two years with Rookie League Mesa. Tavares played in the Cubs system from 2000-05 and worked as a pitching coach with the Cubs Dominican Summer League team from 2007-12. Mariano Duncan returns for his fourth season as the club’s High-A hitting coach after serving the previous two campaigns as Tennessee’s hitting coach (2011-12). 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 Dodgers major league first base coach. Juan Cabreja is the team’s assistant coach after serving as the Dominican Cubs manager in 2014-15. Toby Williams begins his third year as a trainer in the Cubs organization and his first with Myrtle Beach after serving as the trainer in Mesa last season. Jason Morriss enters his fourth season in the organization, second with Myrtle Beach, as a strength and conditioning coach.

Team: Single-A South Bend
Manager: Jimmy Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: David Rosario
Hitting Coach: Guillermo Martinez
Assistant Coach: Ricardo Medina
Athletic Trainer: Mike McNulty
Strength Coach: Ed Kohl

Jimmy Gonzalez begins his third season as a manager in the organization and his second with Single-A affiliate South Bend. Gonzalez made his managerial debut in 2014 with Rookie League Mesa after serving as hitting coach with the club in 2013. A former catcher, he played 14 minor league seasons after he was selected in the first round of the 1991 draft by Houston. Handling pitching coach duties at South Bend will be David Rosario, who begins his 12th year in the Cubs system. Rosario served in the same role with Myrtle Beach last season. Guillermo Martinez begins his third season as a coach in Chicago’s organization and first as a hitting coach with South Bend. He spent last season as a coach with Double-A Tennessee. Ricardo Medina joins South Bend as the team’s assistant coach and has been with the Cubs organization since 1999 as a coach, manager or scout. Mike McNulty joins South Bend as the team’s athletic trainer after serving in the same role last season with Eugene. Ed Kohl enters his sixth year in the organization and his second as South Bend’s strength and conditioning coach.

Team: Low-A Eugene
Manager: Jesus Feliciano
Pitching Coach: Brian Lawrence
Hitting Coach: Ty Wright
Assistant Coach: Gary Van Tol
Athletic Trainer: Logan Severson
Strength Coach: Ryan Nordtvedt

Jesus Feliciano begins his third season as a coach in Chicago’s organization and his first as a manager with Eugene. He spent last season as South Bend’s hitting coach and enjoyed a 16-year playing career from 1998-2013, including action in 54 games with the Mets in 2010.  Joining the staff at Eugene will be pitching coach, Brian Lawrence, who enters his first season as Eugene’s pitching coach after serving in the same role with South Bend in 2015. Lawrence made his coaching debut in 2012 in the Independent Frontier League and spent 2013 as the pitching coach of Single-A Lake Elsinore in the Padres system. The former right-hander went 50-63 with a 4.19 ERA during a six-year big league career with the Padres and Mets. Ty Wright, who spent seven years as an outfielder in the Cubs minor league system, is the team’s hitting coach after serving as a coach with Mesa last year. Gary Van Tol will serve as a coach after spending the last three seasons as Eugene’s manager. Logan Severson begins his first season as the athletic trainer in Mesa after interning with Triple-A Iowa in 2012. Ryan Nordtvedt enters his fourth season in the organization and his second as Eugene’s strength and conditioning coach.

Team: Mesa Rookie League
Manager: Carmelo Martinez
Pitching Coach: Ron Villone
Hitting Coaches: Jeremy Farrell, Chris Valaika
Athletic Trainer: TBD
Rehab Coach: Lance Rymel

Carmelo Martinez enters his 19th season in the organization and begins his second-straight season as manager with Mesa after also serving in the role from 1999-2003, and again in 2006. Martinez previously served as the Cubs Latin America field coordinator for six seasons and played in the majors from 1983-91 with the Cubs, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Royals and Reds. Ron Villone begins his fifth season as a coach in the Cubs organization and second with Mesa.  A former left-handed pitcher, he played in all or part of 15 major league seasons from 1995-2009 with 12 teams. Jeremy Farrell and Chris Valaika are the team’s hitting coaches. Farrell, the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell, begins his first season as a coach after a seven-year minor league career. Valaika, who played in 99 major league games with the Reds (2010-11), Marlins (2013) and Cubs (2014), begins his first year as a coach in the organization. Lance Rymel, a former catcher selected by the Cubs in the 28th round of the 2012 Draft, is in his first season as Mesa’s rehab coach.

Team: Dominican Rookie League 1
Manager: Claudio Almonte
Pitching Coach: Eduardo Villacis, Jose Cueto
Hitting Coach: Carlos Ramirez
Assistant Coach: Antonio Valerio, Jovanny Rosario
Athletic Trainer: Jose Alvarez
Strength Coach: Tomas Sanchez, Amaury Gonzalez

Claudio Almonte is the manager of the Cubs first of two Dominican League teams after serving as the team’s hitting coach the previous two seasons. Eduardo Villacis is the team’s pitching coach after serving in the same role with the Venezuela League team last year. Jose Cueto, who spent four seasons in the Cubs farm system from 1999-2001 and 2004, joins the organization as the team’s assistant pitching coach. Carlos Ramirez joins the organization as the team’s hitting coach, while Antonio Valerio and Jovanny Rosario will serve as assistant coaches. Jose Alvarez begins his third season as the club’s athletic trainer, and Tomas Sanchez enters his third season as the team’s strength coach. Sanchez will be joined by Amaury Gonzalez, who joins the organization as a strength coach.

Team: Dominican Rookie League 2
Manager: Pedro Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: Armando Gabino
Hitting Coach: Franklin Blanco
Assistant Coach: Carlos Rojas
Athletic Trainer: Arnoldo Goite
Strength Coach: Manny Estrada

Pedro Gonzalez is in his first year at the helm of the second Dominican League club after managing the Venezuela Cubs the previous two campaigns. Armando Gabino enters his second season as a pitching coach in the organization after a playing career that saw him pitch in seven games over two seasons with the Twins and Orioles. Franklin Blanco will be the club’s hitting coach and is in his 10th season with the organization. Carlos Rojas joins the organization as an assistant coach following a 10-year minor league career as an infielder from 2003-12, including 2003-07 in the Cubs farm system. Arnoldo Goite enters his third year in the organization and his first as an athletic trainer for the Dominican club. Manny Estrada enters his second full season as a strength and conditioning coach in the organization.

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