Cardinals announce minor league coaching and player development assignments
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals announced their minor league coaching staffs — as well as player development and medical personnel assignments — for the 2019 season on Friday, and several familiar names will be joining the organization or receiving new assignments.
The Cardinals announced five new managerial assignments for 2019, but will have incumbent pitching coaches at all nine of their minor league affiliates. In addition, the team has announced seven new hitting coach assignments for 2019.
Memphis native and former major leaguer Ben Johnson, a fourth-round selection by the Cardinals in the 1999 draft, will be entering his first season as manager at Memphis after most recently coaching with the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, in 2018. Joe Kruzel will pilot Springfield after two seasons at the helm in State College, while Dan Bilardello (Palm Beach), Roberto Espinoza (Johnson City), Fray Peniche (DSL Blue) and John Matos (DSL Red) return to their respective teams. Erick Almonte moves to Peoria as manager, and both Jose Leon (State College) and Joshua Lopez (GCL Cardinals) have been promoted to managers.
Several of the team’s minor league field instructors have been retained. Chris Swauger, however, will move into a new role as assistant field coordinator under field coordinator Mark DeJohn, and Johnny Rodriguez will serve as minor league infield instructor. Two members of the Cardinals’ 2018 major league staff will join the player development staff for 2019: former third-base coach Jose Oquendo was recently announced as minor league roving instructor, while former hitting coach George Greer will serve as minor league offensive strategist. Former Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz has been named minor league catching instructor.
The following is a complete listing of the Cardinals’ 2019 minor league staffs and player development assignments:
|Club||Manager||Pitching Coach||Hitting Coach|
|Memphis (AAA)||Ben Johnson||Dernier Orozco||Jobel Jimenez|
|Springfield (AA)||Joe Kruzel||Darwin Marrero||Brandon Allen|
|Palm Beach (A+)||Dann Bilardello||Will Ohman||Tyger Pederson|
|Peoria (A)||Erick Almonte||Cale Johnson||Russ Chambliss|
|State College (short-season A)||Jose Leon||Adrian Martin||Cody Gabella|
|Johnson City (R)||Roberto Espinoza||Rick Harig||Brian Burgamy|
|GCL Cardinals (R)||Joshua Lopez||Giovanni Carrara||Joe Hawkins|
|DSL Cardinals 1||Fray Peniche||Billy Villanueva||Ismael Castro|
|DSL Cardinals 2||John Matos||Renee Cortez||Nabo Martinez|
2019 Cardinals minor league field instructors and medical staff
|Field Coordinator||Mark DeJohn|
|Assistant Field Coordinator||Chris Swauger|
|Latin America Field Coordinator||Jose Leger|
|Senior Pitching Coordinator||Tim Leveque|
|Minor League Offensive Strategist||George Greer|
|Minor League Pitching Instructor||Randy Niemann|
|Minor League Roving Instructor||Jose Oquendo|
|Minor League Infield Instructor||Johnny Rodriguez|
|Minor League Catching Instructor||Tony Cruz|
|Minor League Medical Coordinator||
|Minor League Rehab Coordinator||Matt Leonard|
|Minor League Strength & Conditioning Coordinator||Aaron Rhodes|
|Minor League Performance Specialist||DC MacLea|
|Minor League Asst. Rehab Coordinator||Victor Kuri|
|Minor League Rehab Consultant||James Spencer|
|DSL Medical Director||Pedro Betancourt|
|DSL Head Strength & Conditioning||Jeremy Lezama|
Trainers & strength coaches: Memphis – Matt Corvo & Frank Witkowski; Springfield – Dan Martin & Dan Vega; Palm Beach – Chris Whitman & Ross Hasegawa; Peoria – Chris Walsh & Kyle Richter; State College – Joe Olsiewicz & Don Trapp; Johnson City – Alex Wolfinger & TBD; GCL Cardinals – TBD & Cory Ritter; DSL Blue – Shoki Hioki & TBD; DSL Red – TBD & Luis Polanco.