Astros' top Minors managers to return in 2016
HOUSTON -- The four managers from the Astros' top Minor League affiliates -- Tony DeFrancesco (Triple-A Fresno), Rodney Linares (Double-A Corpus Christi), Omar Lopez (Class A Lancaster) and Josh Bonifay (Class A Quad Cities) -- will all return next year, the club announced Thursday while unveiling most of its Minor League field staff for 2016.
The Astros coordinators will be Paul Runge (field), Jeff Albert (hitting), Doug White (pitching), Mark Bailey (catching), Adam Everett (infield), Morgan Ensberg (mindset coach), Leon Roberts (roving outfield), Josh Miller (complex coordinator, pitching), Brendan Verner (strength and conditioning) and Daniel Roberts (rehab).
The Astros are bringing back 45 staff members from the 2015 season. The club will announce the managers and coaches for the Dominican Summer League Astros clubs at a later date.
In his new role, Ensberg will travel throughout the Astros system to help develop the mental skills of the Astros players while also implementing organizational initiatives. Roberts spent the last four seasons as the hitting coach at Triple-A.
Miller will enter a new role as complex coordinator (pitching), following three seasons as Greeneville's pitching coach and two as a pro scout for the Astros. He will oversee the Astros' pitching programs at their complex in Kissimmee, Fla., which will include the extended Spring Training and rehab pitching programs.
At Fresno, Dyar Miller replaces Ace Adams as pitching coach, and Ralph Dickenson joins the Grizzlies as hitting coach after serving as roving hitting instructor last year. Bryan Baca enters his second seasons as trainer, while Trey Wiedman will serve as strength and conditioning coach.
At Corpus Christi, Doug Brocail (pitching coach) and Dan Radison (hitting coach) will both return for their second seasons. Grant Hufford returns as athletic trainer, and Taylor Rhoades will be the strength and conditioning coach.
At Lancaster, Michael Burns (pitching coach) joins Lopez's staff and Darryl Robinson returns as hitting coach. Burns, a former Major League relief pitcher who played for the Astros in 2005, spent the last two seasons as the organization's rehab coach. Robinson has been Lancaster's hitting coach since 2009. Michael Rendon (trainer) and Dwayne Peterson (strength and conditioning) will be on the staff.
At Quad Cities, Dave Borkowski (pitching coach) and Joel Chimelis (hitting coach) return to Bonifay's staff in the same role they held last year. Wladimir Sutil will serve as a coach at Quad Cities in what will be his third season as a coach with the Astros. Corey O'Brien will return as trainer, and Joe Bossard will be strength and conditioning coach.
After leading the Greeneville Astros to the Appalachian League Championship title in his first year as a manager with Houston, Lamarr Rogers will move up to Tri-City to serve as the club's manager for the 2016 season. Adams (pitching coach), Russ Steinhorn (hitting coach), John Gregorich (athletic trainer) and Mark Spadavecchia (strength) will join him in Tri-City.
The manager at rookie level Greeneville has yet to be determined, but Chris Holt (pitching coach), Cesar Cedeno (hitting coach), Elliot Diehl (athletic trainer) and Julio Diaz (strength) will comprise the coaching staff. Marty Malloy returns to the Gulf Coast League Astros for his fourth season overall and his third as manager. Erick Abreu (pitching coach), Luis Mateo (hitting coach) and Ramon Vazquez (coach) and Ben Myers (athletic trainer) are on his staff.