Nieto will enter his 11th year as a minor league manager, his third in the Twins organization and his second season in Triple-A. The 2011 season will mark his 20th year as a Major League coach, or minor league manager/instructor. Nieto, a catcher, put together a seven-year Major League career (1984-1990), including two seasons with the Twins (1987 & 1988). A 3rd round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981, Nieto spent time with the St. Louis Cardinals (1984 & 1985), Montreal Expos (1986), Minnesota Twins (1987 & 1988) and Philadelphia Phillies (1989 & 1990), batting .205 with five home runs and 69 RBI in 251 Major League games.
Returning with Nieto to the dugout will be Pitching Coach Bobby Cuellar and Hitting Coach Floyd Rayford .
Bobby Cuellar, 58, will return for his sixth season as the Red Wings pitching coach and 26th year of instruction. Cuellar played nine years of pro ball, appearing briefly in the majors with Texas in 1977, going 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA in four games. This is Cuellar’s sixth season as the Twins Triple-A pitching coach. Cuellar was the Major League pitching coach for Seattle (1995-1996), Montreal (1997-2000), and Texas (2001).
Floyd Rayford, 53, will begin his second season as the Red Wings hitting coach and his 12th year in the Minnesota Twins organization. Rayford, a long time Rochester fan favorite known as “Sugar Bear”, played for Rochester from 1980-1984, 1986 & 1987.
Tony Leo will return for his seventh season as the Red Wings trainer. Leo will be entering his 14th season in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Click here for the official press release(pdf file), with more on Nieto's career and managing record, plus a look at the records of the last 20 Red Wings managers.
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