Astros make several additions to 2016 minor league staff

The Houston Astros have made several additions and changes to their minor league field staff for the 2016 season, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

January 5th, 2016

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have made several additions and changes to their minor league field staff for the 2016 season, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today. 

Among the coaches and managers in new roles are Dave Borkowski (pitching coach, Double A Corpus Christi), Ramon Vazquez (manager, Class A Advanced Lancaster), Omar Lopez (manager, Class A Quad Cities), Chris Holt (pitching coach, Class A Quad Cities), Josh Bonifay (manager, Rookie Level Greeneville), Wladimir Sutil (coach/Latin infield instructor, Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Astros) and Russ Steinhorn (manager, Dominican Summer League Astros).

The Astros also made five new hires, naming Drew French pitching coach at Class A Short Season Tri-City, Dillon Lawson hitting coach at Tri-City, Bill Murphy pitching coach at Greeneville, Aaron DelGiudice development coach at Triple A Fresno and Lancaster, and Tommy Kawamura development coach at Corpus Christi and Quad Cities.

Borkowski will move up to Double A following four seasons as pitching coach at Quad Cities. 

Vazquez has spent the last two seasons as a developmental specialist with Lancaster. The 2016 season will mark his first as a manager in professional baseball. 

Following a 2015 season in which he led Lancaster to their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, Lopez will manage Quad Cities in 2016, a post he filled during the 2013-14 seasons. 

Holt has spent the last two seasons as pitching coach at Tri-City. 

Bonifay, who managed Quad Cities in 2015 and earned Midwest League Coach of the Year honors, will manage Greeneville for his third overall season (also 2013-14). 

Sutil will be a coach in the Astros organization for the third consecutive season.

Steinhorn has spent the last three seasons as hitting coach at Tri-City.

French joins the Astros from the collegiate ranks in what will be his first career professional coaching position. A graduate of Concordia University in Austin, Texas, he spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. following three seasons as an assistant coach at Florida International University. Prior to his two collegiate coaching stints, French spent five seasons at the University of Alabama, including three seasons as Director of Baseball Operations from 2009-11. During his five seasons with Alabama, the Crimson Tide made four appearances in the SEC Tournament, four NCAA Regional appearances and one NCAA Super Regional appearance.

Lawson spent over three years as the assistant baseball coach for Southeast Missouri State University, where he helped guide the team to back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference Championships from 2014-15. Before that, he served coaching positions with Morehead State University and Lindenwood University.

Prior to joining the Astros, Murphy was the pitching coach at Brown University following a stint as a co-manager and pitching coach in the Northwoods Collegiate League. Murphy has also held coaching positions at Georgetown University, the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League and at the high school level.

DelGiudice has been working in baseball since 2008, serving internships with the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. A 2013 graduate of the University of Tampa, he was a right-handed pitcher on the baseball team in all four seasons at the school.

Kawamura has served internships with the New York Mets and Baseball Info Solutions, and has coached at the American Legion level. A graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Ore., he served as the captain of the Willamette baseball team from 2012-14.

As development coaches, DelGiudice and Kawamura will help to guide and support player development initiatives across all areas of the game.