January 8, 2015 at 4:46 PM
The Red Sox announced the field staffs for the organization's minor league affiliates on Thursday. Of note, all seven managers will return to their same roles as 2014, while there was some significant shuffling among the assistants. Also, a trio of former players who spent time with the organization on the field will return to join the coaching ranks. The breakdown for each team is as follows:
Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox
Manager: Kevin Boles
Coach: Bruce Crabbe
Pitching Coach: Bob Kipper (pictured, right)
Pitching Coach: Bob Kipper (pictured, right)
Hitting Coach: Rich Gedman
Trainer: Jon Jochim
Boles returns to the PawSox bench after leading the team to the 2014 Governor's Cup Championship in his first year with the team. Prior to managing in Pawtucket, Boles spent three years leading the Portland Sea Dogs, and he had brief stints in Greenville and Salem prior to that. The 39-year-old's career managerial record is 876-851 over 14 seasons, including a 79-65 record with the PawSox last year.
After five years serving as the pitching coach for the Sea Dogs, Kipper moves up to Pawtucket for his 17th season with the organization, replacing Rich Sauveur, who left the organization following the 2014 season. Despite having coached at five other levels of the organization - including spending the 2002 season as Grady Little's bullpen coach in Boston - this will be his first experience at the Triple-A level. Gedman is moving up after two years in Portland in his fifth year as a minor league hitting coach with the Red Sox. The two combined to play 19 seasons in the major leagues. Crabbe is returning for his second year with the club after stints as a hitting coach, a manager, and as the minor league infield coordinator. This will be his 11th year with the organization. Crabbe notably worked extensively with Garin Cecchini and other players on their defense last year. Jochim will begin his sixth season as athletic trainer for the PawSox.
Manager: Billy McMillon
Pitching Coach: Kevin Walker
Hitting Coach: Dave Joppie
Trainer: Brandon Henry
After setting the franchise record with 88 wins last season, the Sea Dogs will be excited to see McMillon back in the dugout in 2015. McMillon also led Salem to a Carolina League championship in 2013, and he led the Drive to a South Atlantic League runner-up finish in 2010. He holds an impressive 387-311 record over five seasons as a manger, and spent two years before that as a hitting coach in the organization.
Walker will move up to fill Kipper's old role in Portland after spending four years with Salem following one-year stints in Greenville and Lowell. Joppie, who was the hitting coach in Pawtucket the past two seasons, will return to Portland for his sixth season with the Sea Dogs and ninth with the Red Sox. Henry is returning for his fourth year as the athletic trainer in Portland.
High A Salem
Manager: Carlos Febles
Pitching Coach: Paul Abbott
Hitting Coach: Jon Nunnally
Trainer: David Herrera
Febles will return for his second year as manager after a .500 season in Salem last year. It will be his fifth year spent as a manager and ninth year as a coach in the organization, with a record of 214-273 in his four seasons manning the helm. Abbott will join him in Salem after spending the last two years as the pitching coach in Greenville and the prior two in that capacity with Lowell.
Nunnally is a new addition to the organization, coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he was the hitting coach for their Double-A affiliate. The former outfielder spent six seasons in the majors, including a brief 10-game stint with the Red Sox in 1999, and he also played professionally in Japan. Prior to his three years with the Blue Jays, he was a coach in the Cleveland Indians organization for five years. Herrera returns to Salem for the fourth straight year, his eighth year overall in the Red Sox organization.
Low A Greenville
Manager: Darren Fenster
Pitching Coach: Walter Miranda
Hitting Coach: Nelson Paulino
Trainer: Satoshi Kajiyama
Fenster is back with the Drive for his second season as manager, and 2015 will mark his fourth year in the organization as a coach. The former All-American shortstop at Rutgers University will have a potential infield with four starters currently in the SoxProspects.com top 40.
Returning to Greenville as pitching coach for the first time since 2007 is Miranda, who has been a player or coach with the Red Sox for the past 17 years. He spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach for the Spinners. Paulino has him beat by one year, as his 18th year in the organization will be his second year as the hitting coach for the Drive. Like Paulino, Kajiyama is also returning for his second year with the team.
Short-Season A Lowell
Manager: Joe Oliver
Pitching Coach: Lance Carter
Hitting Coach: Iggy Suarez
Trainer: Nick Faciana
Oliver is back for his second season with Lowell after going 37-38 in his first year as a manager. Two new assistant coaches will be joining him. Carter comes over from the University of South Florida. Carter played in the majors for six seasons, including an All-Star appearance in 2002 with the Devil Rays, and he coached in the Phillies organization before leaving to join USF as an assistant coach.
Suarez will be a name familiar to long-time followers of the Red Sox system. He was drafted by the organization in 2003 and spent seven years in the system, making it to Pawtucket in 2009. He played in independent leagues for four years before ending his playing career last summer and re-joining the organization. This will be his first professional coaching experience. Suarez was a favorite of both teammates and fans during his time in the system; he won the Portland Sea Dogs Citizen of the Year award in both 2007 and 2008. Faciana is back for his second year with the Spinners.
Rookie - Gulf Coast League Red Sox
Manager: Tom Kotchman
Pitching Coach: Dick Such
Hitting Coach: Junior Zamora
Trainer: Mauricio Elizondo
Coach: Dave Tomlin
Coach: Goose Gregson
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Edgar Barreto
Manager Tom Kotchman returns most of his staff for his second season leading the GCL club after leading the team to the 2014 league championship while also being named East Coast Scout of the Year. Zamora joins the team as hitting coach after spending the previous seven seasons as the bench coach for the Dominican Summer League team. Gregson, a familiar face (and voice) in Fort Myers who also serves as Boston's Latin American Pitching Coordinator, officially re-joins the team as a coach, and Barreto will work as the strength and conditioning coach in his second year with the organization.
Rookie - Dominican Summer League (DSL) Red Sox
Manager: Jose Zapata
Pitching Coach: Randor Bierd
Pitching Coach: Oscar Lira
Hitting Coach: Wilton Veras
Bench Coach: TBD
Coach: Aly Gonzalez
Coaching Assistant: Claudio Sanchez
Trainer: Guillermo Hinojosa
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Antonio Diaz
As with the GCL, there are only a few changes to this staff for 2015. Bierd comes on as pitching coach in what seems to be the first coaching position of his career. He pitched in the minors for eight seasons, finishing his career, at least in the U.S., with the PawSox in 2010. The only other change on the staff will be the addition of a new bench coach, which position is still vacant after Zamora moved up to the GCL.
Photo Credit: Bob Kipper with Pedro Martinez by Kelly O'Connor