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2015 Field Staff


 

Manager

 

Rodney Linares begins his first season as Corpus Christi's field chief and his ninth consecutive campaign as a manager in the Houston system.

Linares, 37, enters the Texas League ranks following a successful three-year stint at High-A Lancaster. The 2013 California League Manager of the Year captured the circuit's pennant in 2014 and 2012. During this run, the JetHawks compiled a 234-186 (.557) regular-season record and went 16-7 in postseason play.

Last year, the California League champs won 44 of their 70 first-half contests and finished with a 78-62 mark, tops in the South Division. It was Linares' fourth winning campaign in the last five seasons.

In 2013, Lancaster carved out an 82-58 record, winning the second half (43-27) by a nine-game margin. The JetHawks lost to Inland Empire in the division finals.

Linares' 2012 charges finished second in the Cal League South (74-66) and beat Lake Elsinore in the wild-card round. Lancaster took eight of its 10 postseason games, including a 5-0 run to cement the JetHawks' first title in the 17-year history of the club. Following the season, Linares managed the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.

A 17-year member of the Astros organization, Linares skippered the Low-A Lexington Legends in 2010 and 2011. A Rookie-level Greeneville appointment (2007-2009) preceded his South Atlantic League stint.

Linares, whose managerial career began at the age of 29, enters 2015 with a 438-460 (.488) record.

Prior to managing, Linares tutored Lexington hitters in 2005 and 2006. Led by Hunter Pence, the '05 Legends ranked second in the circuit in runs, total bases and home runs.

Linares served as a scout and hitting coach for Houston's Dominican Republic operations from 1999-2004.

Signed by the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent, Linares was a Gulf Coast League infielder for Detroit and Houston in 1997 and 1998.

He and his wife, Rosanna, have two children, Steve and Ryan, and reside in San Pedro de Macoris, DR. His father, Julio, is the Astros' advisor for Latin American development and has been a member of the Houston organization since 1973.

Rodney Linares' Career Managerial Record
Year Team League Affiliate Record
2007 Greeneville Appalachian Houston 17-51
2008 Greeneville Appalachian Houston 30-36
2009 Greeneville Appalachian Houston 27-40
2010 Lexington South Atlantic Houston 71-68
2011 Lexington South Atlantic Houston 59-79
2012 Lancaster California Houston 74-66
2013 Lancaster California Houston 82-58
2014 Lancaster California Houston 78-62
Totals (8 seasons)     438-460

 

 

Pitching Coach

 

Longtime MLB pitcher Doug Brocail officially takes over as Corpus Christi's pitching coach in 2015, after serving with the club on an interim basis last season.

Brocail guided the development of Tommy Shirley, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2014. Shirley was tabbed as Hooks' pitcher of the year, posting a 7-3 record and 1.88 ERA in 17 Texas League outings.

Brocail's track record with Corpus Christi features several success stories. Mark Appel, the first overall draft pick in 2013, thrived with the Hooks after struggling at Class-A Lancaster. Following Shirley's promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Jordan Jankowski emerged as the Hooks' most consistent starter. The former 34th-round pick was 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in the second half, striking out 70 against 12 walks in 60.2 innings. Mitchell Lambson and Tyson Perez shook off pedestrian runs in the California League to shine in Double-A. As a member of the Hooks, Lambson complimented a 1.36 ERA with 35 strikeouts and five walks in 33.1 innings. Perez authored a 4-0 record and went 11-for-11 in save chances. Both pitchers were rewarded with invitations to the Arizona Fall League.

Brocail, who went 52-48 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 big-league campaigns, was Houston's pitching coach for two and a half seasons, beginning in mid-June of 2011 through the end of 2013. During this period, the Lamar, Colorado, native oversaw one of the youngest staffs in the majors, with 18 pitchers making their big league debut.

Brocail joined Houston's front office in 2010 as a special assistant to the GM, a role he reprised in the fall of 2014. He was also acting as Astros' senior pitching advisor before assignment to Corpus Christi.

Brocail's major-league career included stints with the Padres, Astros, Tigers and Rangers. His .633 winning percentage (38-22) from 1998 to 2009 stood second highest among MLB relievers during that span.

Brocail, 47, pitched in parts of four seasons (1995-96, 2008-09) with Houston, notching a 15-14 record and a 4.24 ERA in 151 appearances (11 starts). His penultimate campaign of 2008 witnessed 47 first-half appearances, most by a right-hander in club history. At 42, Brocail finished the season by reaching career highs in wins (seven) and appearances (72).

He was selected by San Diego in the first round (12th overall) of the 1986 draft out of Lamar Community College. Brocail toiled for seven seasons in the minors before making his major league debut at Candlestick Park on September 8, 1992.

In December of 1994, the Padres traded Brocail to Houston as part of an 11-player deal. Derek Bell and Ricky Gutierrez were included in the set which went to the Astros. San Diego picked up a group led by Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno and Steve Finley.

Following the 1995 season, Brocail was packaged with Brian Hunter, Todd Jones and Orlando Miller in a trade with Detroit for Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryl Ward.

As a member of the Tigers, Brocail went 17-14 with a 3.06 ERA in 240 outings from 1997-2000. He missed the next three seasons due to an elbow injury, which required two Tommy John surgeries.

Brocail returned to the majors in 2004 and made 43 appearances for the Rangers, winning four of his five decisions.

On March 11, 2006, Brocail, a member of the Padres, underwent an angioplasty after doctors discovered a coronary artery blockage during spring training. He endured a second angioplasty in early April but returned in July and posted a 2-2 record and 4.76 ERA in 25 relief appearances.

His minor-league tour includes Texas League stops Wichita, Jackson, Round Rock, Frisco and Corpus Christi. Brocail made a pair of rehab appearances with the 2009 Hooks, throwing two scoreless innings in late July.

Brocail was all-state in football, basketball and baseball at Lamar High School, where he tossed three no-hitters and struck out 156 batters in 76 innings to win Colorado Pitcher of the Year honors in 1985.

Doug and his wife, Lisa, make their home in Missouri City, a Houston suburb. They have five daughters: Taylor, McKinzie, Madisyne, Camdyn and Parker Elizabeth.

 

Hitting Coach

 

Dan Radison, now in his fourth year with the Astros organization and his 35th in professional baseball, serves as Corpus Christi's hitting coach in 2015.

Radison spent last season as a special assistant for Houston's player development department. He joined the organization in January 2012 as special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow. Radison took over as Astros first base coach on August 19. In 2013, the Illinois native was assistant hitting coach on the major league staff.

Prior to his stint with the Astros, Radison was first base coach for the Washington Nationals in 2010 and 2011. From 2007-2009, he worked in the St. Louis system as minor league hitting coordinator.

Radison, 64, managed in the minors for 12 seasons between 1984 and 2006. He owns a 622-552 (.530) career record as skipper, including three division titles and an Eastern League championship with Albany in 1992.

Selected by the Cardinals in the 10th round of the 1972 draft out of Southern Illinois University, Radison hit .246 with nine home runs and 82 RBIs over a three-year playing career. Primarily a catcher, he reached Triple-A in 1974 as member of the Tulsa Oilers. Radison also played 75 games for the Cardinals' Texas League affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers.

His coaching career began in 1977 as associate head coach for Broward (FL) Community College. Radison left Broward for the University of Georgia in 1979 before moving on to Old Dominion in 1981.

In 1984, the then 33-year-old began his tenure as a minor league manager with the Kingston Mets of the rookie-level Appalachian League.

After managing the Mets' New York-Penn League affiliate in Little Field, NY, in 1985, Radison rejoined the Cardinals organization.

He guided the Johnson City (TN) Cardinals to a pair of division titles (1986, 1987) and won Appalachian League manager-of-the-year honors in 1986.

Radison was hired by the Yankees in 1990 and was assigned to Class AA Albany, where he managed for three seasons.

His off-season coaching stints include the Venezuelan Winter League and the Puerto Rican Winter League. Radison also skippered three years in the collegiate Alaskan League (1979-81) and led the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League from 1994 to 1996.

Radison graduated from Columbia (IL) High School where he won the prestigious Pentzler Award for baseball (1968) and basketball (1967-68). He earned a bachelor's degree in health education from Southern Illinois University and received his master's degree in counseling from Nova Southeastern University (FL).

 

Infield Coach

 

Major league veteran Tom Lawless begins his seventh consecutive season in the Astros system. He will scout Texas League clubs on home dates. When Corpus Christi travels, Lawless is slated to tour other Houston affiliates.

Lawless made his debut as a big league manager last season, taking the helm of the Astros on September 1. Houston went 11-13 to finish the year. Lawless began the season managing Triple-A Oklahoma City in the absence of Tony DeFrancesco, who was on medical leave.

Lawless spent 2013 as the RedHawks' infield coach, a position implemented by the Astros during the previous offseason. Lawless started 2012 as Houston's roving infield instructor. He closed out the campaign as Oklahoma City's interim manager in the wake of DeFrancesco's temporary promotion to Houston on August 19.

Lawless, 58, took charge of the Hooks in 2011 in what was his 10th season as a minor-league manager. He piloted the Lancaster JetHawks in 2010 and the Lexington Legends in 2009.

A native of Pennsylvania, Lawless played portions of eight seasons in the major leagues with Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis and Toronto. Primarily a second and third baseman, Lawless appeared in 343 games.

Lawless is well known for two events during his big-league playing career. In August of 1984, he was traded by Cincinnati to Montreal in exchange for Pete Rose - the only deal involving Rose in his 24-year career. And in the 1987 World Series, Lawless clubbed a three-run home run off eventual Series MVP Frank Viola to help the Cardinals beat the Twins 7-2 in Game 4.

Selected by Cincinnati in the 17th round of the 1978 draft out of Penn State University Erie, Lawless spent five seasons in the minors, making his major league debut with the Reds on July 15, 1982. Lawless fashioned three consecutive seasons in the Reds system (1979-1981) in which he stole 60 or more bases, including a total of 123 steals with Double-A Waterbury of the Eastern League in 1980 and 1981.

Lawless capped his playing career in 1990 before moving to the coaching ranks in 1992 as a minor league infield/baserunning instructor for the Angels organization. In his third year in the California system, Lawless led the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a Midwest League championship in his first season as a manager. The 1994 Kernels finished the regular season at 77-62 and included such players as Jamie Burke, Aaron Guiel and Bengie Molina.

Lawless managed the Kernels again in 1995 and 1996, leading them to playoff berths both seasons.

In 1997, Lawless began a three-year stint as hitting coach for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, then an affiliate of the New York Mets.

He returned to the managerial ranks and the Midwest League in 2000 as skipper of the Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals). The following year, Lawless managed the Fort Wayne Wizards (Padres), also in the Midwest League.

The 2002 season brought a change for Lawless, who served as an on-field operations assistant for the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

In 2003, Lawless again put on a uniform, beginning the first of two seasons as manager for the Frederick Keys (Orioles) in the Carolina League. He remained in the Baltimore organization for the next four seasons as minor league roving infield/baserunning instructor (2005-08).

In 2010, Lawless managed the Chinese National Team to a fourth-place finish at the 16th Asian Games, held in Guangzhou. He was also a coach for China during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

Lawless and his wife of 34 years, Cheryl, live in St. Louis. They have three daughters: Jessica, Samantha and Hillary.

 

Athletic Trainer

 

Grant Hufford begins his first season with the Hooks and his eighth campaign as an athletic trainer in the Astros system.

Hufford joins Corpus Christi following a two-year stint at Class A Lancaster. The 2013 California League Athletic Trainer of the Year served at Low-A Lexington in 2011 and 2012.

His first post with the Astros was in 2008 at rookie-level Greeneville. Hufford served there through the 2010 season.

He came to the organization from the Lawrence Orthopedic Surgery Clinic in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to his duties at the clinic, Hufford was the athletic trainer for Baldwin High School.

The 33-year-old received his bachelor's degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS.

Grant, his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Genevieve, live in Merriam, KS.

 

 

Strength & Conditioning Coach

 

Mark Spadavecchia joins Corpus Christi's staff following a two-year run as strength and conditioning coach at Class A Lancaster.

Prior to his tenure with the Astros, Spadavecchia was a strength and conditioning intern for Florida State University's baseball, track, swimming and volleyball programs, a position he started in August 2011.

Spadavecchia, 26, also served as head strength coach at John Paul II High School (FL) during the fall of 2012.

He interned with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010 and received his bachelor of science degree in health services from Marquette University in 2011. Spadavecchia majored in exercise science, minored in marketing and worked as a research assistant.

In 2013, he earned his master's degree in sports sciences from Florida State University.

Spadavecchia is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).