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Cards announce 2014 Minor League coaching staff

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals announced 2014 coaching staff assignments for their Minor League affiliates on Thursday, as well as the promotion of Tim Leveque to Minor League pitching coordinator. Leveque fills the vacancy created after Brent Strom left the organization last month to accept a position as the Astros' pitching coach.

Leveque was most recently the organization's mechanics analyst and Minor League rehab coordinator, which gave him an opportunity to work under Strom. Taking Leveque's former position -- now described as coordinator of pitching analytics -- is Paul Davis, who will also serve as the pitching coach for Rookie level Johnson City. Davis joined the organization prior to 2013 after a college coaching career.

Five of the Cardinals' eight Minor League managers will return to manage the same club in 2014. That includes Ron "Pop" Warner (Triple-A Memphis), Mike Shildt (Double-A Springfield), Oliver Marmol (short-season State College), Steve Turco (Rookie Gulf Coast League) and Fray Peniche (Dominican Summer League).

The other three managers are also being retained, but have had their assignments shuffled. After managing low Class A Peoria this year, Dann Bilardello will move to high Class A Palm Beach for 2014. Joe Kruzel is headed to Peoria from Johnson City. Johnny Rodriguez takes over Johnson City after two seasons as Palm Beach manager.

All incumbent hitting and pitching coaches are returning to their same posts.

There has also been some shifting in the scouting department, where Mike Roberts has been promoted from Midwest crosschecker to a special assistant of amateur scouting. Roberts, with over 30 years of experience in scouting, is the longest-tenured member of the Cardinals' scouting department.

Said scouting director Dan Kantrovitz in a release about the promotion: "Mike has been a mentor to many of us in the scouting department and is a very valuable resource for me during the Draft. In his new role, Mike can broaden his reach both in terms of evaluating more players as well as spending time with more members of our staff."

Filling Roberts' crosschecker position will be Matt Swanson, who had been an area scout in Northern California. The Cardinals have also hired Patrick Casanta as a baseball development analyst.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.

St. Louis Cardinals