Red Sox announce personnel moves in player development, set Minor League field staffs

February 3rd, 2022

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today announced personnel moves in the Player Development department, as well as 2022 field staffs for their minor league affiliates.

Red Sox Director of Player Development Brian Abraham made the announcement.

Darren Fenster will transition to a new role as Infield Coordinator after spending the past three seasons as the organization’s Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator. The New Jersey native also served as the third base coach for Team USA during the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year. Corey Wimberly has been promoted to Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator. He managed Double-A Portland last season after spending two seasons managing High-A Salem (2019-20) and one managing Short-A Lowell (2018). Ralph Treuel will begin a new role as Player Development Pitching Advisor. The Ohio native has 48 years of baseball experience, most recently serving as Pitching Coordinator, Logistics for the past three seasons.

Anthony Iapoce joins the organization as Senior Hitting Coordinator, after spending the last six seasons as a major league hitting coach with the Chicago Cubs (2019-21) and Texas Rangers (2016-18). He previously served as Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Cubs (2013-15), where he oversaw the club’s minor league hitting program. Working alongside Iapoce will be Lance Zawadzki and Reed Gragnani, who were both promoted to Hitting Coordinator. Zawadzki spent the past three seasons as hitting coach for Double-A Portland (2020-21) and Low-A Salem (2019), while Gragnani served as Assistant Hitting Coordinator from 2020-21.

Jordan Elkary has been promoted to Coordinator, Baseball Development. He joined the organization in 2020 as Assistant, Baseball Development, where he served as a conduit between Baseball Analytics and Player Development. Kevin Avilla has been promoted to Minor League Rehab Coordinator following four seasons as Minor League Physical Therapist. Joel Harris has been promoted to Minor League Athletic Training Coordinator, where he will continue to work alongside Avilla in handling minor league medical leadership duties. He spent the last three seasons as Assistant Minor League Athletic Training Coordinator.

Kirby Retzer has been promoted to Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. He spent last season as Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator after serving as Minor League Rehab Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2020. Jeffrey Dolan has been promoted to Minor League Strength and Conditioning Rehab Coach. Dolan joined Double-A Portland as strength and conditioning coach in 2021, his first season with the Red Sox Organization. Jonathan Jenkins has been hired as a Mental Skills Coordinator and will focus primarily on Triple-A Worcester. The Boston native is currently a clinical psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Sports Psychology Department.

Minor League Field Staffs:

Chad Tracy joins the Red Sox organization as Worcester’s manager after spending the last seven seasons (2015-21) in the Los Angeles Angels system, including three as a minor league manager with Low-A Burlington (2015) and High-A Inland Empire (2016-17). For the next four seasons (2018-21), he served as the organization’s minor league field coordinator. Bench Coach José David Flores also enters his first season in the Red Sox organization, with more than 20 years of experience as a coach and manager. Most recently, he spent one season as a first base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies (2018) and two as a third base coach for the Baltimore Orioles (2019-20), also serving as the infield coach for both major league clubs.

Rich Gedman will continue as the club’s hitting coach for his eighth year in that role and 12th with Red Sox minor league clubs. A Worcester native, Gedman is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Michael Montville begins his first season as an assistant hitting coach, after serving as an additional coach for the WooSox in 2021. Paul Abbott returns as Pitching Coach for the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate for the third consecutive season, his 12th in the organization. He previously served as Pitching Coach for Short-A Lowell (2011-12), Single-A Greenville (2013-14), High-A Salem (2015-17), and Double-A Portland (2018-19). Brendan Connolly has been hired as a Development Coach for Worcester, his first season in the Red Sox organization. A Massachusetts native and Harvard University alum, he most recently served in a similar developmental role with Tampa Bay’s Triple-A Durham affiliate in 2021.

David Herrera enters his fourth season as Worcester’s Athletic Training Coordinator, his 15th with the organization (2008-22). He will be joined by Scott Gallon, who served as Double-A Portland’s head athletic trainer in 2021. Ben Chadwick returns for a second season as Strength and Conditioning Coach, while Edwin Rodriguez joins the staff as Massage Therapist.

Chad Epperson joins the Sea Dogs as Manager, having previously served as the organization’s Catching Coordinator (2010-21), a minor league manager (2004-09), and minor league coach (2002-03). Epperson led his club to the High-A playoffs in four consecutive seasons beginning in 2006, earning California League Manager of the Year honors in both 2007 and 2008.

Lance Carter returns for his third season as Portland’s Pitching Coach. It will be his eighth season in the organization, having previously worked with Short-A Lowell (2015-17) and High-A Salem (2018-19). Doug Clark joins the Sea Dogs staff as Hitting Coach after seven seasons as a hitting coach in the San Francisco Giants organization (2015-21), which followed a 17-year professional career. A Massachusetts native and University of Massachusetts alumnus, Clark spent the last two season as Hitting Coach for Double-A Richmond.

Chris Hess joins Portland’s staff as a coach after spending his first season in the Red Sox organization in the same capacity in Fort Myers. Also joining the staff is Katie Krall, who will serve as Development Coach in her first season with the organization. Krall has spent time as Baseball Operations Analyst with the Cincinnati Reds (2020-21), League Economics & Operations Coordinator with Major League Baseball (2018-20), and Assistant General Manager with the Cape Cod Baseball League (2016-17).

Nick Kuchwara joins Portland as Athletic Trainer following time in the same role with High-Greenville (2021) and High-A Salem (2016-20). Kuchwara also spent time with the major league club in each of the last two seasons. Also joining the Portland staff is Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Hudson after one season with High-A Greenville (2021) and two seasons with High-A Salem (2019-20), each in the same role.

Iggy Suarez returns for a fifth season managing Greenville, marking his eighth season in the organization and his seventh as a minor league manager. In 2021, he guided the Drive to a 67-53 (.558) record in the club’s first season as a High-A affiliate. Entering his 24th year in the Red Sox organization, Bob Kipper will return as Greenville’s pitching coach, having also served in that role with the Drive from 2005-06, 2008-09, and 2018-21. Returning for a second year as Hitting Coach is Nate Spears, who after serving as a coaching assistant with Greenville in 2016 spent four years as a hitting coach for Short-A Lowell (2017-20).

Matt Wheeler joins the Drive as a coach, after spending the 2021 season as a video intern with Triple-A Worcester. Joe Cronin, who spent the 2021 season with the Red Sox as a baseball operations intern in Fort Myers, has been hired full-time as a Development Coach. Bobby Stachura, who joined the organization as an intern in 2017, returns to the Drive as an athletic trainer. Following two seasons in that role with Low-A Greenville (2019-20), he joined the Low-A Salem staff in 2021. Joining the organization as Greenville’s Strength and Conditioning Coach is Donny Gress, who most recently served in that same role at the University of Kentucky for various sports, including baseball.

Luke Montz enters his second season managing Salem after serving in the same role for Short-A Lowell (2019-20) and serving as a coaching assistant for Double-A Portland (2018). In 2020 , Montz led the Red Sox to the Low-A North Division title and a 71-49 - record in the regular season. Veteran hitting coach Nelson Paulino will return to the staff in his 25th season coaching in the organization (1998-2022 ), having previously worked with Salem in 2013, from 2016-18, and from 2020-21. Nick Green, who joined the Red Sox organization in 2015, returns for his second season as Salem’s Pitching Coach after spending three seasons as Pitching Coach for Lowell (2018-20).

Ako Thomas joins Salem as an additional coach, after serving in the same role for Portland in 2021 and volunteering as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan in 2020. Also joining the Salem staff as an additional coach is Mickey Jiang, who has been working in the Red Sox’ system since 2009, most recently as a coach and translator at the Fort Myers complex.

Jacob Loughman, a graduate of Salem State University in Salem, MA, joins the Red Sox staff as Athletic Trainer. He most recently served as an assistant athletic trainer in the White Sox organization with the High-A Winston-Salem Dash. Omar Porras joins the organization as Salem’s Strength and Conditioning Coach after spending the 2021 season in that same role for the Angels’ Low-A Inland Empire affiliate.

Jimmy Gonzalez returns for a second season as a manager at the Red Sox’ Fort Myers complex, after serving as a manager in the Chicago Cubs’ minor league system for seven seasons from 2014-20. Tom Kotchman, who has spent more than 40 years as a minor league manager and scout, also returns for a second season as a manager at the Red Sox’ Fort Myers complex. For seven years from 2014-20, he served as manager for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.

Serving as a hitting coach in Fort Myers for a second season will be Josh Prince, who joined the organization in 2020 as Hitting Coach for Single-A Greenville after spending the 2019 season as a player/coach for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the Atlantic League. Junior Zamora also returns for a second season as a hitting coach, following six years in that capacity for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and seven years as a bench coach for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox.

Brett Merritt and Jason Blanton return as pitching coaches at the Fort Myers complex. Merritt previously held the same role for High-A Salem (2020) and the College of Central Florida (2018-19), while Blanton spent six seasons as a pitching coach in the Cleveland Guardians (2017-20) and Seattle Mariners (2014-15) systems. Bianca Smith has transitioned to a full-time coach after joining the organization in 2021. Smith, who has also spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers organizations, joined the Red Sox after serving as Assistant Athletic Director as well as Assistant Coach and Hitting Coordinator at Carroll University (WI). She became the first African-American woman to coach in professional baseball history.

Ricky De Luna returns as a strength and conditioning coach for Fort Myers, a role he previously held with Greenville from 2019-20. He joined the organization in 2018 as a minor league strength and conditioning coach after serving in the United States Marine Corps (2012-17).

Jose Zapata returns for his 16th season as the Red Sox’ Latin American field coordinator. Ozzie Chavez and Sandy Madera return as managers at the Dominican Republic Academy, both having made their managerial debuts in 2019. Once again serving as hitting coaches at the academy will be Eider Torres, who joined the DSL Red Sox in 2020, and Danny Ortega, who previously coached in the Los Angeles Angels (2018-19) and Houston Astros (2010-17) organizations.

Oscar Lira and Humberto Sanchez will continue as the academy’s pitching coaches, with Lira entering his 11th season in the role and Sanchez beginning his fifth. Also returning to the staff are Juan Hernandez, Claudio Sanchez, Carlos Vallejo, and Leonel Vazquez as additional coaches. Joining the academy staff as a Development Coach is Manny Alvarez, a Holy Cross graduate who served as an intern with High-A Greenville in 2021. He will work alongside fellow Development Coach Christian Vogler, who joined the academy in that role during the 2021 season.

Returning for a second season at the academy as International Instructor is Amaury Garcia, who previously spent 12 years with the Washington Nationals organization, including serving as Hitting Coach for Single-A Hagerstown (2016-20). Guillermo Hinojosa will return for his 13th season as Athletic Trainer, while Jharvyn Velazquez will return for his third. Joining the staff is Athletic Trainer Tyler Lough, who served in that same capacity at the Fort Myers complex in 2021. Antonio Diaz and Danny Gutierrez will resume their roles as strength and conditioning coaches at the academy and will be joined by Rafael Rivera. Rivera previously worked in the Dominican Summer League as an athletic trainer in the Cardinals and Pirates organizations, also serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for los Toros del Este in the winter.