January 15, 2016 at 2:10 AM
The Red Sox announced the field staffs and player development personnel for the 2016 season on Thursday. Despite the shakeup at the top of the front office at the end of last season with the hiring of Dave Dombrowski as the new team president, Ben Crockett has continued in his role as Director of Player Development and the field staffs from 2015 have been largely retained.
Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox
Manager: Kevin Boles (pictured, right)
Coach: Bruce Crabbe
Pitching Coach: Bob Kipper
Hitting Coach: Rich Gedman
Senior Trainer: Jon Jochim
Strength and Conditioning: Kirby Retzer
Boles returns for a third season as Pawtucket's manager and his ninth overall in the organization. The skipper of the 2014 Governors' Cup-winning squad oversaw a team that slumped to 59-85 last season when injuries at the major league level forced the promotions of highly-touted prospects such as Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez. If Boles can coax 65 wins out of the 2016 team it will give him 1000 for his minor league managerial career—he is 935-936 across 15 seasons.
Crabbe, Kipper, Gedman, and Jochim all remain in place as well. Crabbe returns for a third year as PawSox coach and his 12th overall in the Red Sox minor league system. Kipper is in his 17th year in the organization and second with Pawtucket. He had an eight-year major league career and appeared in 271 games before joining the coaching ranks. Gedman is back for a second season as hitting coach. The longtime Red Sox catcher has been back with the organization as a coach since 2011. Jochim will begin his seventh season with Pawtucket and his first in the new role as senior athletic trainer. The only change from the 2015 staff is with the hiring of Retzer as the team strength and conditioning coach. Retzer comes from the Minnesota Twins organization.
Double-A Portland Sea Dogs
Manager: Carlos Febles
Pitching Coach: Kevin Walker
Hitting Coach: Jon Nunnally
Trainer: Eric Velazquez
Strength and Conditioning: Chris Messina
Febles has been rising steadily through the managerial ranks within the organization and steps into a new role as Sea Dogs manager in 2016. He spent the last two seasons as manager in Salem, preceded by two years in Greenville and a season with Lowell. Prior to managing, he spent four years as a hitting coach in the organization.
Walker is the lone holdover from the Portland 2015 staff, as he heads into his second season as pitching coach. Nunnally takes over as hitting coach, moving up from Salem where he held the same position in 2015. He previously served as a coach in the Toronto and Cleveland organizations, and his playing career included a 10-game stint with Boston in 1999. He takes over the position previously held by Dave Joppie, who is no longer with the organization. Velazquez is a newcomer to the organization, following three years as a trainer in the Mets system. Messina takes on the position of strength coach after serving in the same role last season for the Bristol Pirates of the Rookie-level Appalachian League.
High A Salem Red Sox
Manager: Joe Oliver
Pitching Coach: Paul Abbott
Hitting Coach: Nelson Paulino
Trainer: Nick Kuchwara
Long-time major leaguer Joe Oliver moves into Febles' old position as Salem's manager following two seasons as Lowell skipper. He was 74-77 leading the Spinners. Oliver appeared in 1,076 games in his 13-year major league career, winning a World Series ring with the 1990 Cincinnati Reds.
Abbott is in his sixth season with the Red Sox organization and second as pitching coach in Salem. Paulino returns for his 19th year in the organization. After two years on the Greenville staff, he rejoins Salem, where he previously served as hitting coach in 2013. Kuchwara joins Oliver making the move up from Lowell.
Low A Greenville Drive
Manager: Darren Fenster
Pitching Coach: Walter Miranda
Hitting Coach: Lee May, Jr.
Trainer: Nick Faciana
Fenster is back for a third season as Greenville manager and fifth in the organization. He previously served as a manager in the Gulf Coast League and a hitting coach for the Drive. He also spent seven seasons on the coaching staff of his Rutgers University where he starred as a player, earning recognition as the Big East Player of the Year in 2000.
Miranda begins the second season of his second stint as Greenville's pitching coach. He previously held that position in 2007, one of the many roles he has had in 18 years with the organization. May brings his 13 years of professional coaching experiences to the Red Sox organization. He has previously worked with the Mariners, Indians, and Mets. May also played for eight seasons in the Mets and Royals minor league systems. Faciana is in his third year with the organization, as he returns to the position where he closed the 2015 season.
Short Season-A Lowell Spinners
Manager: Iggy Suarez
Pitching Coach: Lance Carter
Hitting Coach: Wilton Veras
Trainer: Scott Gallon
The 2016 season will mark the managerial debut of Suarez, who spent last season as the hitting coach of the Spinners. Suarez appeared in 730 games in the Red Sox system between 2003 and 2009, earning a reputation as a slick fielder and a fan favorite, winning Sea Dogs Citizen of the Year award in both 2007 and 2008.
It is the second season as pitching coach for Carter, who previously spent two years coaching in the Phillies organization. It is something of a homecoming for Veras, who joins the Lowell staff after spending two years as the hitting coach for the Dominican Summer League affiliate. In 1996, he was the youngest member of the inaugural Lowell Spinners club, finishing second on the team with 60 hits. Veras reached the major leagues as a player for Boston in 1999, appearing in 85 games as a third baseman over two seasons. Gallon joins the Red Sox organization after spending four years as a trainer at Boston College. He previously interned in 2001 for Sarasota Red Sox, Boston's High A affiliate at the time.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Red Sox
Manager: Tom Kotchman
Pitching Coach: Dick Such
Hitting Coach: Junior Zamora
Coach: Dave Tomlin
Trainer: David Herrera
Strength and Conditioning: Ben Chadwick
Kotchman will attempt to lead the GCL Red Sox to a third consecutive league championship in his third year as the team's manager. A veteran minor league coach, Kotchman has a sterling 77-41 record during his current tenure, and overall has won 10 titles in 36 seasons as a minor league manager. Dick Such stays on for a fourth season as pitching coach and his eighth in the organization. Like Kotchman, Such has a long coaching resume, including 19 seasons as a pitching coach at the major league level. He served in the role for the Minnesota Twins when they won the World Series in both 1987 and 1991.
Zamora is back for his second year with the squad after previously serving as a bench coach in the Dominican Summer League for seven years. Dave Tomlin is back for his sixth season as a coach. He has been with the organization for 14 years, following a major league playing career that stretched from 1972 to 1986. Herrera, in his ninth year in the organization, will serve as Latin American medical coordinator in addition to being the team's trainer. Chadwick spent the 2015 season with Salem as strength coach.
Dominican Summer League Red Sox1
Manager: Jose Zapata
Pitching Coach: Aquilino Lopez
Hitting Coach: Carlos Adolfo
Coaching Assistant: Carlos Sequera
Coaching Assistant: Leonel Vasquez
Trainer: Guillermo Hinojosa
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Mario Anguizola
Zapata is the longest-tenured manager in the system, as he returns for a tenth season at the helm of the DSL Sox. Former major leaguer Lopez joins the organization as pitching coach, joined by Adolfo who is also a newcomer to the system. Vasquez joins the coaching staff after having pitched for the DSL Sox in 2011 and 2012. Hinojosa begins his seventh season as trainer, and Agnuizola moves over from the DSL Red Sox2 staff, where he was the trainer.
Dominican Summer League Red Sox2
Manager: Aly Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: Oscar Lira
Hitting Coach: Ozzie Chavez
Coaching Assistant: Claudio Sanchez
Strength and Conditioning: Antonio Diaz
The Red Sox will again field a second team in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, and Aly Gonzalez will again be at the helm. He led the team to a first-place finish in the San Pedro de Marcoris Division last season with a 45-26 record. Lira also remains on the staff after having served as the pitching coach for the DSL Red Sox1 team from 2012-2014. Diaz, the dean of the organization's player development field staff, returns for a 21st season working with the Red Sox minor leaguers. It will be his seventh season as strength coach in the DSL.
Player Development Staff
Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator: Billy McMillon (pictured, right with Mookie Betts)
Athletic Training Coordinator: Brandon Henry
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator: Edgar Barreto
Latin America Medical Coordinator: David Herrera
Norton joins the Red Sox organization, taking on the role of Minor League Hitting Coordinator that he held with the Marlins organization from 2012 to 2013. He had most recently been the hitting coach with Auburn University before rejoining the professional ranks. Norton appeared in over 1100 games in his 13-year major league career. McMillon had been a field manager in for the last six seasons, the two most recent with Double-A Portland. He was named Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2014 when he led the Sea Dogs to a franchise record 88 wins, and managed Salem to the Carolina League championship in 2013.
Henry enters his 10th season with Boston. He was the athletic trainer for Portland from 2012 to 2015, a role he previously held with Lowell, Greenville, and Salem. After two years as strength coach for the GCL Red Sox, Barreto takes over as strength and conditioning coordinator system-wide.
Photo Credit: Kevin Boles and Billy McMillon with Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor