Mike Shildt comes back to Springfield as the Manager of the Springfield Cardinals for his second season. He led Springfield to a franchise record 77 wins in 2012 enroute to the team's first Texas League Championship. Overall, he has won three straight league championships (2010 and 2011 with the Johnson City Cardinals, Short Season Appalachian League). In his four years as a manager with the Cardinals, he amassed a .593 winning percentage going 201-138.
"We are very excited to welcome Mike back to Springfield," Vice President/General Manager Matt Gifford said. "His leadership was an integral part in guiding Springfield to its first Championship in the Texas League. Not only is he an outstanding manager, but also a terrific teacher of the Cardinal way which is very important to the future of Cardinals baseball."
Fans will see another familiar face in the dugout as Phillip Wellman will continue to be the hitting coach for the Redbirds for the third straight season. The Cardinals offense ranked 1st in the Texas league in team batting average (.268) for the second straight season and ranked 2nd in homeruns (125), runs scored (671), on-base percentage (.341) and led the league in walks drawn (481). A former minor leaguer with the Braves, Twins and Pirates, Wellman has 25 years of coaching experience including 15 years a manager in the Reds and Braves organizations.
Newcomer Randy Niemann will join the Cardinals Organization as the Springfield Pitching Coach. An eight-year major league veteran, the lefty amassed a 7-8 record with a 4.64 ERA in 122 career games, 10 starts after being a 2nd round draft selection of the New York Yankees in 1975. He was most recently the Pitching Coach of the Boston Red Sox after being promoted from Assistant Pitching Coach in August of 2012. Niemann spent 24 seasons in the Mets Organization prior to joining the Red Sox.
Former Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd has been promoted to Triple-A Memphis and will work alongside former Springfield manager Ron "Pop" Warner.
Athletic Trainer Scott Ensell comes to Springfield after spending the last season in Quad Cities (Midwest League). He worked alongside Shildt as the athletic trainer in Johnson City in 2011.
Rounding out the 2013 Field Staff will be Strength and Conditioning Coach, Josh Cue. The Iowa native returns for his third season in Springfield and works at the Cardinals training facility in Jupiter, Florida during the offseason.
The Springfield Cardinals begin their title defense in Corpus Christi April 4th before returning to Hammons Field April 11th. For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder or purchasing tickets, please call the Springfield Cardinals Front Office at (417) 863-0395 or visit www.springfieldcardinals.com.
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