A first for Guardians with hiring of Kamekona

February 8th, 2023

CLEVELAND -- It’s at this time every year that the Guardians release their player development staff assignments for the upcoming season. Many return to the positions they had the previous season, some receive promotions and some are new to the organization.

But this year the Guardians have a first.

As announced on Tuesday, the Guardians have hired Amanda Kamekona to serve as the hitting development coach for their academy in Arizona. Kamekona is the first woman to be hired by the organization in an on-field role.

Kamekona was a standout softball player at UCLA and Cal State Fullerton before she went on to play professionally from 2010-19. She founded and coached a junior Olympic-level softball team in Chino Hills, Calif., in 2020 and was the head coach at Bishop Amat Memorial High School in La Puente, Calif., from 2019-22.

Kamekona is one of eight player development staffers to join the organization for 2023. Most will be working out of Arizona; a lot of familiar faces (some in new positions) will be returning to Cleveland’s Minor League affiliates. 

Here’s a breakdown of how the four Minor League coaching staffs will be put together: 

Triple-A Columbus

Manager: Andy Tracy 

Pitching coach: Owen Dew

Hitting coach: Junior Betances

Bench coach: Greg DiCenzo

Pitching strategist: Cody Buckel 

Double-A Akron 

Manager: Rouglas Odor 

Pitching coach: Brad Goldberg

Hitting coach: Mike Mergenthaler

Assistant hitting coach: Ian Forster

Bench coach: Daniel Robertson

High-A Lake County 

Manager: Omir Santos 

Pitching coach: Kevin Erminio

Hitting coach: Jordan Becker 

Bench coach: Kyle Lindquist 

Single-A Lynchburg

Manager: Jordan Smith

Pitching coach: Tony Arnold 

Hitting coach: Ordomar Valdez

Bench coach: Yan Rivera