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12/29/2008 4:27 PM ET
Rangers announce '09 Minors staffs
Danny Clark promoted to pitching coordinator, one of several internal promotions; Steve Buechele to manage Bakersfield; Spike Owen and Harry Spilman join organization
Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers today announced the instructors, managers, coaches, and staff for all minor league affiliates in 2009. Danny Clark, who was previously pitching coach at the Clinton affiliate, has been promoted to pitching coordinator. Clark joins several others in the organization to receive internal promotions, including Terry Clark, Scott Coolbaugh, Mike Micucci, Brant Brown, and Hector Ortiz.
Among the new additions, longtime Texas player Steve Buechele has been named manager for the club's Bakersfield (High-A) affiliate in the California League. Former major leaguers Spike Owen (infield coordinator) and Harry Spilman (special assistant) have also been added to the staff. Jeff Andrews, who was major league pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, will fill that role in Spokane. A look at the 2009 staff:
Danny Clark has served 3 seasons in the Texas organization, including the past 2 seasons as pitching coach at Clinton (A) in the Midwest League. During his time in the Rangers system, Clark has worked with several of the team's top pitching prospects. Prior to joining the club as pitching coach at Spokane in 2006, Clark spent 6 seasons as head coach at Milligan College in Johnson City , Tenn. Clark played baseball at East Tennessee State University and has had coaching stints at that school and Brevard (N.C.) College.
Buechele, 47, had an 11-year major league career from 1985-95, including 7 seasons with the Rangers. He was the club's 5th round selection in the 1982 June draft. Buechele played 835 games at third base for Texas, still 2nd-most in team history behind only Buddy Bell (901 games). Prior to a trade to Pittsburgh in 1991, he compiled a .991 fielding percentage at third base for Texas, a figure which is still a major league record at the position. Buechele, who has recently worked pre- and postgame shows with Fox Sports Southwest, has also assisted the Rangers Alumni Legacy Program and still resides in Arlington.
Owen, 47, had a 13-year major league career from 1983-95. He spent 5 seasons as a coach with Round Rock from 2002-06, and also assisted that organization in front office and broadcast work from 2000-02. Born in Cleburne, Owen was an all-American at the University of the Texas in 1982 prior to being selected by Seattle with the 6th overall selection in that year's June draft. Owen ended his playing days with the Rangers' Triple-A Oklahoma City club, announcing his retirement in April of 1996.
Spilman, 54, has spent the past 2 seasons as a coach for Triple-A Nashville in the Milwaukee organization. A major league hitting coach for Houston from 2000-04, he also served 2 seasons in that role for Triple-A Round Rock in 2005-06. Spilman was a coach in the Houston organization in 1998-99 after spending 7 years as a minor league manager and roving hitting instructor in the Cleveland organization. He had a 12-year big league career from 1978-89.
Other new hires: Joe Slusarski as Double-A pitching coach, Jason Wood at High-A, and Jason Hart as Short-A coach.
At Oklahoma, Bobby Jones returns for his 22nd season as a coach or manager in the Texas organization, his 7th with the RedHawks. Jones ranks 7th among active minor league managers with 1,285 wins. He was the recipient of the inaugural Mike Coolbaugh Award this offseason, presented to an individual who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game, and skill in mentoring young players on the field. Terry Clark has been promoted after 3 seasons with Frisco. Scott Coolbaugh has been promoted after 2 seasons with Frisco.
Frisco features an entirely new staff, headed by manager Mike Micucci. Micucci has been promoted after 2 seasons with Clinton. Joe Slusarski most recently served as a pitching coach in the Houston organization, including stints with Round Rock (2003-04) and Corpus Christi (2005-06). A former major leaguer, Slusarski was a second round selection in the 1988 June draft after a standout career at the University of New Orleans. Former big leaguer Brant Brown was promoted to the Frisco staff after 2 seasons at Bakersfield.
While adding Steve Buechele as manager, Bakersfield returns Dave Chavarria as pitching coach. This will be Chavarria's 9th season in the Texas system, his 4th on the Blaze staff. Former major leaguer Jason Wood joins the organization as a coach. Wood saw brief action in the big leagues with Florida last year, but joins the coaching ranks this season.
Former big leaguer Hector Ortiz will be in his first season as a professional manager at Hickory, a Rangers affiliate for the first time. Ortiz has spent 3 seasons as a coach in the club's minor league system, including the past 2 seasons at Spokane. While the club has yet to name a pitching coach at Hickory, Brian Dayett will assist Ortiz on the coaching staff. Dayett has spent the past 4 seasons as a coach at the club's former Clinton affiliate.
Tim Hulett returns as manager of Spokane after winning the Northwest League Championship this past season. Jeff Andrews, who was the major league pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, will fill that role for Spokane. Andrews returns after beginning his coaching career in the Texas organization from 1986-1991. Former Texas player Jason Hart, who assisted the Clinton staff last year, will be with Spokane in 2009.
The Arizona League staff returns Bill Richardson (manager), Carlos Pulido (pitching), Josue Perez (coach), and Scott Dwyer in 2009, also adding John Burgos to the staff. Dwyer was a late addition to the staff in 2008. Burgos has spent 3 seasons with the club's Dominican program.
Among other roving instructors, Mike Boulanger, Wayne Kirby, and Keith Comstock all return. Boulanger spent most of the final 2 1/2 months of last season assisting the big league club.
The organization has also finalized coaches for the Dominican Summer League, under the direction of manager Jayce Tingler. Tingler will be in his 3rd season with Texas in the Dominican Republic, his second as a manager.
Oklahoma City (AAA)
|Manager||Bobby Jones||Mike Micucci||Steve Buechele|
|Pitching||Terry Clark||Joe Slusarski||Dave Chavarria|
|Coach||Scott Coolbaugh||Brant Brown||Jason Wood|
|Trainer||Jason Roberts||Chris Gorosics||Jacob Newburn|
|Strength||Ric Mabie||Luke Chichetto||Eric McMahon|
| || Hickory (Low-A)||Spokane (Short-A)||Arizona (Rookie) |
|Manager||Hector Ortiz||Tim Hulett||Bill Richardson|
|Pitching||TBD||Jeff Andrews||Carlos Pulido, John Burgos|
|Coach||Brian Dayette||Jason Hart||Scott Dwyer, Josue Perez|
|Trainer||Jeff Bodenhammer||TBD||T.J. Nakagawa|
|Strength||Ryan McNeal||Ed Yong|
|Roving Instructors||Other Staff|
|Infield Coordinator||Spike Owen ||Medical Coordinator||Matt Lucero|
|Hitting Coordinator||Mike Boulanger||Rehab Coordinator||Brian Bobier|
|Pitching Coordinator||Danny Clark||Strength & Conditioning||Napolean Pichardo|
|Outfield/Baserunning Coord.||Wayne Kirby||Mgr., Cultural Enhancement||Billy McLaughlin|
|Roving Hitting Instructor||Luis Ortiz||Mgr., Minor League Complex||Chris Guth|
|Special Asst., Player Dev.||Harry Spilman||Asst. Equipment Manager||Brandon Boyd|
|Rehab Pitching Coordinator||Keith Comstock||Az. League Clubhouse Mgr.||Garret Kohler|
| || ||Asst. Equipment Manager||Russ Oliver|
|Dominican Summer League|
|Manager Jayce Tingler||Coach Alexis Infante||Coach Ryley Westman|
|Pitching Pablo Blanco||Coach Oscar Bernard||Coach Jesus Ovalle|
|Pitching Jose Jaimes||Coach Andres Duncan||Trainer C.J. De la Garza|
|Coach Guillermo Mercedes||Coach Osvaldo Oliva||Strength Eduardo Thomas||