Nationals announce 2015 Minor League staff
by Amanda Comak
The Washington Nationals named their Minor League managers, coaches and coordinators for the 2015 season on Wednesday, including the addition of former Nationals player Rick Ankiel, who will fill a newly-created Life Skills Coordinator role.
The Nationals promoted Paul Menhart to Minor League Pitching Coordinator and named Spin Williams as Senior Advisor for Player Development. Menhart embarks on his 10th season in the Nationals’ Minor League system.
Menhart, who spent the 2014 season as the pitching coach for Triple-A Syracuse, has overseen the development of many of Washington’s top pitching prospects. Additionally, Michael Barrett will take an increased role as Catching Coordinator, working with the catchers across all levels of Washington’s system. He will continue to serve as the Manager of the Gulf Coast League Nationals.
Washington is happy to welcome Bob Milacki and Tommy Shields to the organization. Milacki will serve as the pitching coach for Triple-A Syracuse while Shields joins the organization as a Co-field Coordinator.
Milacki comes to the Nationals after spending six seasons (2009-14) in the Philadelphia chain. Prior to joining the Phillies, he spent eight years as a pitching coach in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization (2001-08). Milacki Appeared in 143 games, going 39-47 with a 4.38 ERA over parts of eight seasons in the Major Leagues, with Baltimore (1988-92), Cleveland (1993), Kansas City (1994) and Seattle (1996). He was selected in the second round of the 1983 MLB Draft by Baltimore.
Shields, a native of Fairfax, VA, comes to the Nationals after spending three seasons as the manager of the Burlington Royals in the Kansas City Royals’ chain, earning Appalachian League Manager of the Year honors in 2012. Shields joined the Royals after spending six years as the Atlanta Braves’ minor league infield coordinator (2006-11), and from 2007-10 he served dual roles as the field and infield coordinator. He played parts of eight Minor League seasons in the Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Chicago Cubs’ organizations. A left-handed-hitting infielder, Shields made his Major League debut in 1992 with the Baltimore Orioles but earned his first MLB plate appearance with the Cubs in 1993.
Washington also welcomes back to the organization Ankiel, who will serve as the Life Skills Coordinator. Ankiel retired in 2013 after playing parts of 11 Major League seasons with six different clubs, including the Nationals (2011-12). He will draw on his vast experience as a player to help mentor Nationals farmhands.
The Nationals have also added Jerad Head, who will serve as a coach during Extended Spring Training and for the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Nationals. Head played eight seasons in the Minor Leagues, including the 2013 season within the Nationals’ chain. Head appeared in 10 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and collected his first MLB hit in his big league debut, August 28 vs. Kansas City.
Here are the full Nationals’ Minor League coaching staffs:
|Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs|
|Manager – Billy Gardner Jr.|
|Pitching – Bob Milacki*|
|Hitting – Joe Dillon|
|Athletic Trainer – Jeff Allred|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Brett Henry|
|Double-A Harrisburg Senators|
|Manager – Brian Daubach|
|Pitching – Chris Michalak|
|Hitting – Mark Harris|
|Athletic Trainer – Eric Montague|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Tony Rogowski|
|Single-A Potomac Nationals|
|Manager – Tripp Keister|
|Pitching – Franklin Bravo|
|Hitting – Brian Rupp|
|Athletic Trainer – TD Swinford|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Mike Warren|
|Single-A Hagerstown Suns|
|[South Atlantic League]|
|Manager – Patrick Anderson|
|Pitching – Sam Narron|
|Hitting – Luis Ordaz|
|Athletic Trainer – Don Neidig|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Gabe Torres|
|Short-Season Single-A Auburn Doubledays|
|[New York-Penn League]|
|Manager – Gary Cathcart|
|Pitching – Tim Redding|
|Hitting – Amaury Garcia|
|Athletic Trainer – Darren Yoos|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – RJ Guyer|
|Rookie-Level GCL Nationals|
|[Gulf Coast League]|
|Manager – Michael Barrett|
|Pitching – Michael Tejera|
|Hitting – Jorge MejiaCoach — Jerad Head|
|Athletic Trainer – Kirby Craft|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Edwin Jimenez|
|Rookie-Level DSL Nationals|
|[Dominican Summer League]|
|Manager – Sandy Martinez|
|Pitching – Pablo Frias|
|Hitting – Jose Herrera|
|Coach – Emiliano Alcantara|
|Athletic Trainer – Miguel Cabrera|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach – Santo Del Rosario|
|Co-Field Coordinator – Jeff Garber||Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator – Gary Thurman|
|Co-Field Coordinator – Tommy Shields*||Coordinator of Instruction – Gary Cathcart|
|Pitching Coordinator – Paul Menhart||Rehabilitation Pitching Coordinator – Mark Grater|
|Sr. Advisor, Player Development – Spin Williams||Medical and Rehabilitation Coordinator – Jon Kotredes|
|Hitting Coordinator – Troy Gingrich||Strength and Conditioning Coordinator – Landon Brandes|
|Catching Coordinator – Michael Barrett||Life Skills Coordinator – Rick Ankiel|
|Minor League Equipment Manager – Calvin Minasian|