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Coaching Staff

2015 Mudcats Coaching Staff

Manager Luis Salazar

Luis Salazar is in his fifth season with the Braves organization and his 13th as a minor league manager. Salazar, who has 15-plus years of major league coaching experience, joined the organization in 2011 from the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he spent three seasons (2007-09) as their Double-A hitting coach.

In each of the last three seasons (2014, 2013, 2012), Salazar has guided his teams to the Carolina League playoffs. In 2012, his club claimed the Carolina League title, winning the Mill Cup Championship.

In 2006, Salazar managed the Vero Beach Dodgers (Single-A) and from 2002 to 2005, he was the skipper of the Gulf Coast League Dodgers.

Previous to joining the Dodgers organization, Salazar spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, including one year as the Brewers first base coach. Salazar's coaching career began with Chandler in the rookie-level Arizona League in 1995 and then spent two seasons as manager of Single-A Beloit in 1996 and 1997. He was the Brewers' Triple-A hitting coach at Louisville in 1998 and 1999 and Indianapolis in 2000.

A 13-year major league veteran, Salazar played for the San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs.

The Venezuelan native and his wife, Graciela, reside in Boca Raton, Fla. They have two children, son Carlos and daughter Viviana.

 

Pitching Coach Derrick Lewis

The 2015 campaign marks Derrick Lewis's second season as pitching coach with the Braves' High-A affiliate and his 12th season overall in the Braves organization.

Since Lewis originally joined the organization in 2004, he has served in the same capacity over his 11 seasons at four different levels, including the previous two seasons with the High-A club, three seasons (2011-13) with the Class-A Rome Braves, three seasons (2008-10) with the rookie-level Danville Braves and four seasons (2004-07) with the Gulf Coast League Braves.

In 2009, Lewis' Danville Braves pitching staff ranked first in the Appalachian League with a 3.05 ERA, 604.2 innings pitched and 26 saves and was second with 582
strikeouts.

Lewis' affiliation with the Braves dates back to 1997 when Atlanta selected him in the 20th round of the June free agent draft. He spent six years (1997-2003) as a pitcher in the Braves minor league system and was selected by the Braves organization as the Myrtle Beach Pitcher of the Year in 1999 when he finished second in the Carolina League in ERA. For his career, he posted a 31-37 record with a 4.04 ERA in 161 minor league games.

Derrick and his wife, Roslyn, reside in Charlotte, N.C., with their daughter Skye.

 

Hitting Coach Carlos Mendez

The 2015 season marks Carlos Mendez's eighth season overall in the Braves organization and his second season as a hitting coach with the club's High-A affiliate. In 2014, Mendez opened the season with rookie-level Danville before being assigned as the hitting coach for the Lynchburg Hillcats in mid-
April.

Mendez originally joined the organization in 2008 as a hitting instructor for the rookie-level Danville Braves, a position he held through the 2010 season. From 2011 to 2012, Mendez served as the Rome Braves hitting coach and he spent the 2013 season with the Gulf Coast League Braves in the same role.

Mendez, a career .297 hitter at the minor-league level, played 16 seasons with five different organizations (Kansas City, Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore and Atlanta) from 1991-2007. During his 16-year career, Mendez often ranked in the top ten in several offensive categories and he was also named to several All-Star teams.

In 2003, Mendez spent nearly four months with the Baltimore Orioles over two stints and played in 26 games for the club. In 1994, he led the Midwest League (Single-A) with a .355 batting average. Mendez was originally signed by the Kansas City Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 1991.

Carlos and his wife, Courtney, have two children, Carlos Jr., and Tatiana, and reside in Wilmington, Del.

 

Trainer Joe Toenjes

Joe Toenjes is in his sixth season as an athletic trainer in the Braves organization and his third with the club's High-A team. Prior to joining the Lynchburg Hillcats, Toenjes spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons in the same capacity for the Gulf Coast League Braves. During the 2010 season, Toenjes worked as a part-time trainer for the GCL Braves.

In 2014, Toenjes was invited to work with the Major League training staff during spring training.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Toenjes served as the head athletic trainer at Newberry College (South Carolina) from 2008 to 2010 where he worked with the football and baseball teams. During that same time, Toenjes also worked with student-athletes at Progressive Physical Therapy. In 2007, he served as the head athletic trainer at Rockledge High School in Rockledge, Fla.

Joe resides in Jacksonville, Fla., with his wife, Dierdre and their two children, Christopher and Kaleigh.

 

Strength Coach Cory Ritter

Cory Ritter is in his 3rd year in professional baseball as a strength & conditioning coach. This is his first season with the Atlanta Braves after two years with the Seattle Mariners in Pulaski and High Desert.

After high school, he played baseball at South Florida Community College and when his career was over he finished his schooling at the Florida State University. While at FSU, he received a BS in Exercise Science in 2011 and a Masters in Sports Science in 2013.

Cory is also engaged to be married this year to Dawn Davis. He is excited to be apart of an organization like the Atlanta Braves and hope to help continue the tradition of winning that the Braves name represents.

 

Team Orthopedic Dr. Mark Galland

Dr. Galland began his career in Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine while serving the United States Navy at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. There he served as Chief of Orthopedic Surgery and received numerous awards and commendations for both leadership and excellence in treating the musculoskeletal and sports injuries common in Sailors and Marines. The broad experience in Sports medicine Dr Galland received during his service in the Navy complemented the training he received at Tulane University in his home state of Louisiana.

Full bio