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Cubs announce 2012 minor league managers and staff

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2012 season, which includes Dave Bialas taking over at Triple-A Iowa and Buddy Bailey moving from Single-A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee.

Dave Bialas will manage the Iowa Cubs in his 18th year with the Cubs organization after serving as Chicago’s minor league field coordinator for the last 10 seasons. A 40-year veteran of professional baseball, he has 13 seasons of minor league managerial experience, compiling a 912-881 record and leading his teams to six league championship series. Mike Mason will serve a fifth term as Iowa’s pitching coach while Dave Keller, who served as the Cubs major league special assistant in 2011, will make his debut as Iowa’s hitting coach. Keller spent the 2004-10 seasons as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator. Nick Frangella enters his first season as the club’s athletic trainer and his ninth year in the Cubs chain.    

Buddy Bailey takes over at Tennessee after guiding Daytona to a 215-196 (.523) record in the last three seasons. A minor league manager for 23 years (with the Cubs since 2006), Bailey previously worked in Boston’s (1991-2004) and Atlanta’s (1982-90) organizations. Former major leaguer Jeff Fassero takes over as Tennessee’s pitching coach after handling the same duty for Peoria last season. Fassero went 121-124 with a 4.11 ERA between Montreal (1991-96), Seattle (1997-99), Texas (1999), Boston (2000), the Cubs (2001-02), St. Louis (2002-03), Colorado (2004), Arizona (2004) and San Francisco (2005-06). Mariano Duncan, a 12-year major league veteran infielder (1985-87, 1989-97), enters his second campaign as the club’s hitting coach after spending the previous five seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers major league first base coach. Aaron Larson, with Peoria in 2011, begins his first year as Tennessee’s athletic trainer.

Brian Harper takes over at Daytona after helping Tennessee advance to the Southern League Championship Series last season, his first in the Cubs organization. Harper batted .295 in 1,001 big league games from 1979-95 and made World Series appearances with the Cardinals in 1985 and the Twins in 1991. Harper’s staff includes Marty Mason, who last year handled the pitching coach duties with the Smokies after spending the previous 25 seasons as a coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system, including 11 as the major league bullpen coach. In addition, Desi Wilson enters his fifth season in the Cubs organization, his first as Tennessee’s hitting coach, after serving as Boise’s hitting coach in 2011. Peter Fagan begins his second season with the Cubs organization, first with Tennessee after serving as athletic trainer for Daytona in 2011. Fagan brings 28 years experience to the position, having also worked in the St. Louis Cardinals (1982-2000) and Houston Astros (2001-10) organizations.

Casey Kopitzke enters his fourth season as a minor league manager in the Cubs chain, his third at Peoria. He made his managerial debut in 2009 with Boise after two seasons as the Cubs minor league catching coordinator. Tom Pratt begins his 13th year as a pitching coach within the Cubs system and his second stint at Peoria after serving in the same role in 2005. Barbaro Garbey, who handled hitting coach duties at Daytona last season, returns to Peoria for his third stint as the Chiefs hitting coach. Shane Nelson, who worked with Mesa in 2011, begins his first year as Peoria’s athletic trainer.

Mark Johnson returns for his second season as Boise skipper after leading the Hawks to their first playoff berth since 2006 in his first year as manager. Assisting Johnson and serving as pitching coach for the second-consecutive season is David Rosario, who is entering his eighth season as a minor league coach in the Cubs system. The Hawks have yet to have a hitting coach assigned to the squad. Bob Grimes, in his 28th season with the organization, returns as the club’s athletic trainer for the second-consecutive year.

Bobby Mitchell joins the organization and takes over managerial duties at Mesa after spending the last nine years in the Angels organization, five as a minor league manager. He served as the Angels roving outfield, baserunning and bunting coordinator for the 2011 season. Former Cubs pitcher and 13-year major league veteran Frank Castillo returns for his second-straight season as the Mesa pitching coach. The righthander compiled an 82-104 record and a 4.56 ERA with Chicago (1991-97), Colorado (1997), Detroit (1998), Toronto (2000), Boston (2001-02, 2004) and Florida (2005). Rick Tronerud returns for his 17th year with the Cubs and his 12th season with Mesa, serving as the club’s rehab pitching coach. Former Cubs outfielder Jason Dubois returns for his second season, again handling hitting coach duties for Mesa. Steve Melendez, in his 27th season with the organization, returns as the club’s athletic trainer for the fifth season.

The Cubs will again run two clubs in the Dominican Summer League. The first team will be managed by Juan Cabreja, who is in his ninth year with the organization, after serving as Mesa’s manager for three seasons. Anderson Tavares returns for his sixth year as pitching coach. Ricardo Medina, who has been a coach, manager or scout for the Cubs organization since 1999, will serve as the team’s hitting coach. Leo Perez begins his fourth season as a coach in Chicago’s organization, assisting the club with catching coordinator duties. Wilkin Perez returns as the club’s athletic trainer in his second year with the organization.

Yudith Ozorio will manage the second Dominican squad, the same position he held for the past two seasons. Leo Hernandez will handle pitching coach duties in his 17th year with the club while Franklin Blanco will take on hitting coach duties in his sixth year with the organization. Robert Jimenez, in his 12th year with the organization, returns as the team’s athletic trainer.

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