Coaching staff to return intact next year
NEW YORK -- With one minor adjustment and one addition, the Brewers' Major League coaching staff will otherwise return intact for 2014, general manager Doug Melvin said on Saturday.
Manager Ron Roenicke, entering the final guaranteed year of his contract, will rejoin bench coach Jerry Narron, hitting coach Johnny Narron, pitching coach Rick Kranitz, bullpen coach Lee Tunnell, first-base coach Garth Iorg and third-base coach Ed Sedar.
Coach John Shelby will also return but will not be in the dugout, instead manning the batting cages and video room as assistant hitting coach. He will retain his role as an outfield instructor.
New to the staff will be Mike Guerrero, who has coached and managed in the Brewers' Minor League system since 1996. His job title is simply "coach," and he will assist Iorg with infield instruction while giving the staff a Spanish speaker.
"We talked about it before this season and through the season, but we think having a voice that is the same language as a lot of our Latin players is important," Roenicke said. "They've had Mike in the organization for a long time and really respect what he does. … I think it's going to be valuable for them to have him there, not only to talk to, but also if there needs to be something a little more forceful to take place, sometimes because of his knowledge of them in the past, and just because of their language, it should go well."
In making the announcement, Melvin conceded the 2013 season "has not been what we had hoped," but cited the value of consistency.
Roenicke agreed. When he took over as Brewers manager before the 2011 season, he had never worked with any of his new coaches.
"I look at other staffs all the time, because we're always staring across there either trying to get their signs or just trying to see what happens, and I know how good our staff is," Roenicke said. "It's come together, and I really like what they do."
Sedar will return for an eighth season on the big league coaching staff and is its longest-tenured member, working for four different managers if you count interim skipper Dale Sveum's stint at the end of 2008. Jerry Narron, Kranitz and Iorg will enter their fourth years with the Brewers, Johnny Narron for his third and Tunnell for his second full season.
Roenicke praised his coaches for their work in a trying year.
"It was a tough season, and the coaches stayed positive, which I thought was the biggest thing, to stay positive during all this stuff," Roenicke said. "Injuries are hard. It's easy to get down as a player when you're looking at one of your main guys going down -- we had three of them, basically [Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart] -- that weren't 100 percent this year.
"Plus, they're knowledgeable. All the young guys that came up, there was some work to do on them, some work to try to fine-tune their skills. I think they did a really nice job with that, and that's got to continue."
Guerrero joined the organization as manager of the Rookie level Dominican League Brewers (1996-2002). He has also served as manager of the Rookie League Arizona Brewers (2004-05), Class A West Virginia (2006-07), Class A Brevard County (2008-09), Double-A Huntsville (2010-11) and Triple-A Nashville (2012-13). He spent one season (2003) as the hitting coach at Class A Beloit.
As a player, the former Minor League infielder spent nine seasons with the Milwaukee (1987-92, '94-95) and Kansas City (1993) organizations.