GREENEVILLE, TN - The Houston Astros have announced the 2013 field staff for the Greeneville Astros. The club will be led by a familiar face in Josh Bonifay, who will be returning to Greeneville as the manager after previously serving as the team's hitting coach in 2011. Bonifay, who resides in Charlotte, NC during the offseason, will become the club's seventh different manager as the Astros enter their tenth season in Greeneville.
"We are thrilled to have Josh in Greeneville to lead our team," said Greeneville Astros general manager David Lane. "When he was here two years ago, he proved to have a strong work ethic and will do everything he possibly can to develop our talented players and produce a winning program."
The 2013 season will be Bonifay's first as a minor league manager. An eight-year minor league veteran, Bonifay began his coaching career as a player/coach in the Pirates organization (2007-09) before joining Houston in 2011. He was the hitting coach for Greeneville in 2011 and spent last season as the hitting coach for Class A Lexington, where he represented the Legends as a coach on the 2012 Postseason All-Star Team. Bonifay played in 812 minor league games, which included a stint with Double A Corpus Christi in 2006.
"I'm excited to manage, to teach the kids and to help them get better so they can reach their goals of getting to the big leagues," said Bonifay about his new challenge of returning to Greeneville for his first stint as a minor league manager. "I really enjoyed my previous time in Greeneville. The ballpark is excellent, the front office is great and the community really supports the club. We'll also have a really good staff that I can rely on so there's a lot to be excited about and I'm eager to get started."
Joining Bonifay's staff will be Josh Miller (pitching coach), Cesar Cedeno (hitting coach) and Corey O'Brien (athletic trainer). Miller, a former Astros minor league pitcher, played with Bonifay at Corpus Christi in 2006. The 2013 season will be his first as a coach in the club's minor league system after spending the last two seasons as a professional scout for the Astros. Cedeno returns to Greeneville for his second consecutive season. The four-time All-Star played 12 seasons (1970-81) with the Astros and collected five Gold Gloves as an outfielder. Following his playing career, Cedeno served as a coach or instructor for the organization for 10 seasons (1990-94, 1997-2001). O'Brien returns for his second season as Greeneville's athletic trainer.
The Houston Astros also announced the field staffs for their seven other minor league affiliates, and former Greeneville managers still working throughout the Astros organization include Omar Lopez, Ed Romero and Rodney Linares. Lopez, Greeneville's manager for the past two seasons including last season's successful 36-32 campaign, has been promoted to manage the newest member of the Astros affiliates, the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits. Romero, who managed Greeneville in 2010, has been promoted to head the Short Season Class A Tri-City ValleyCats following two seasons with the Gulf Coast League Astros. Finally, Linares, who tops Greeneville's all-time win list after being at the helm from 2007-09 and managed the Class A Lancaster JetHawks to a California League championship last year, will return to Lancaster for a second season.
Other former Greeneville Astros field staff members still working at different levels throughout the Astros system include the following: 2012 pitching coach Hector Mercado (GCL Astros), 2011 athletic trainer Michael Rendon (Tri-City), 2009 and 2011 pitching coach Rick Aponte (DSL Astros), 2010 pitching coach Dave Borkowski (Lancaster), 2008-10 athletic trainer Grant Hufford (Lancaster) and 2007 athletic trainer Bryan Baca (Corpus Christi).
The Greeneville Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. The 2013 season will begin on June 20th at Bluefield and June 23rd will mark the club's home opener against the defending champion Elizabethton Twins. Options to renew and purchase new season tickets are now available at the Astros Administrative office located at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm. For more information on the Greeneville Astros, call (423)638-0411.