2013 Field Staff
Former Cubs and Angels infielder Jose Nieves joins the Dragons as manager in 2013. Nieves (nee-AY-ves) brings three years experience as a manager in the Reds organization to the Dragons. He managed the Reds' Arizona League club in Goodyear in each of the last two seasons after serving as manager of the Reds affiliate in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2010. He enjoyed a five-year Major League playing career as a shortstop and second baseman. He spent parts of three seasons with the Chicago Cubs from 1998-2000. He spent the 2001-'02 seasons with the Anaheim Angels and was a member of the Angels 2002 World Series championship team. Nieves played in 212 Major League games. His big league managers included Mike Scioscia, Don Baylor, and Jim Riggleman, and he was a teammate of Yankees manager Joe Girardi while with the Cubs. Nieves, 37, also played in the Minor Leagues for 13 seasons from 1995-2008, appearing in 790 games. He spent the 1996 season in the Midwest League with the Rockford Cubbies prior to the Dragons arrival. Nieves was born in Venezuela and now makes his home in the Phoenix area.
Tony Fossas (FOSS-us) returns to the Dragons after serving as the Dayton pitching coach for three seasons from 2009-'11. He was the pitching coach at Billings in 2012 where his staff finished second in the Pioneer League in team earned run average. In 2011 with the Dragons, Fossas oversaw a pitching staff that emerged as the best in Dragons history. The 2011 Dragons hurlers broke the all-time Midwest League record for strikeouts in a season and broke the franchise record for best ERA while leading the league in ERA, strikeouts, shutouts, and fewest runs allowed. Over his four seasons in the Reds organization, Fossas has been instrumental in the development of pitching prospects Robert Stephenson, Daniel Corcino, Chad Rogers, Ismael Guillon, Drew Hayes, and many others. Fossas spent 12 years in the Major Leagues as a left-handed relief pitcher. He appeared in 567 games, mostly with the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Brewers. His professional career spanned 21 seasons until his retirement in 1999 at the age of 41.
Alex Pelaez returns for his third season as the Dragons hitting coach and his fifth year as a coach in the Reds organization in 2013. He served as the hitting coach at Billings in 2010 and held the same position with the Gulf Coast League Reds in 2009. In 2012 with the Dragons, Pelaez (puh-LY-uz) was instrumental in the development of Steve Selsky, the Reds Minor League Batter of the Year. Eight hitters from the Dragons 2012 roster were promoted to a higher level during the course of the season. In 2011 under Pelaez's guidance, the Dragons led the Midwest League in team batting average and runs scored while breaking the club record for highest team batting average. During his time in Dayton, Pelaez has contributed to the development of many of the Reds top hitting prospects including Billy Hamilton, Donald Lutz, David Vidal, Kyle Waldrop, Yorman Rodriguez, Ryan Wright, and Sean Buckley among others. Pelaez played in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres in 2002 as a third baseman. He spent eight years in the Minor Leagues from 1998-2005, posting a career batting average of .292 while topping the .300 mark four times. He was an all-star selection in three seasons and spent his last four years at the Triple-A level.
Trainer: Tyler Steele
Tyler returns for his fifth season with the Dragons in 2012. He is a native of Waynesville, Ohio and a graduate of Wilmington College with a degree in athletic training. Tyler served as an athletic trainer at several Miami Valley high schools for Kettering Sports Medicine Center from 2006-'09.
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Morgan Gregory
Morgan Gregory joins the Dragons in his first year as a strength coach with the Cincinnati Reds organization. Gregory attended Carson-Newman College, where he played four seasons of baseball and earned a degree in exercise science. After college, Gregory returned home, to Nashville, Tennessee, and started working as a trainer at D1 Sports Training. After about a year in Nashville, Gregory moved to Cincinnati to become the operating manager of a D1 Sports Training branch there. At D1 Sports Training, Gregory trained high school and college athletes across a wide variety of sports, and also worked with world-class figure skaters. Gregory also coached the Cincinnati Sticks baseball team.