The Colorado Rockies announced today that Lenn Sakata will return to manage the Modesto Nuts in 2013. Sakata, the California League leader in managerial wins, will be in the Nuts dugout for the 2nd consecutive year.
Joining Sakata in the Nuts dugout will be returning hitting coach Jon Stone. Former Major-League pitcher Dave Burba will be the pitching coach. Before becoming a minor-league pitching coach, Burba enjoyed a 15-year Major League career with Seattle, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Texas and Milwaukee. Burba was 115-87 with a 4.49 ERA in his Major-League career. Burba spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Tri-City Dust Devils.
The Rockies have introduced a new role to each minor-league affiliate: Development Supervisor. Fred Nelson, a 27-year veteran of the Houston Astros player development organization, will serve as the Development Supervisor for the Nuts.
The Colorado Rockies have released the following information regarding the Development Supervisor role:
"The role of Development Supervisor is new to the Rockies organization and is a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices. The Development Supervisor will be a team-builder who will create synergy among staff members so that they may generate and evaluate best practices on a daily, weekly, monthly and season-long basis. The Development Supervisors will serve as leaders in communication, so that consistency and continuity of organizational philosophies, execution, standards and expectations exist from level to level. In addition, the Development Supervisors will creatively seek out solutions to issues and challenges, so that we establish a foundation of winning with a focus on the professional and personal development of our players. The Development Supervisor will travel with their respective club."
Sakata returns as skipper after finishing last season with an overall record of 73-67. Despite a slow start, Sakata led the Nuts to the Championship Series while they fell to League champion Lancaster JetHawks. Sakata's 619 wins are most in Cal League history and he has managed his teams to two California League championships.
Stone enters his second season as hitting coach with the Nuts and his seventh season in the Rockies organization. Stone began his coaching career as an assistant to former Nuts manager Jerry Weinstein, coaching with the Nuts in 2008.
Additionally, former Medical Trainer with the Nuts, Chris Dovey, has been promoted to Tulsa and has been replaced by Josh Guterman. Guterman spent the 2012 season as the trainer for the Grand Junction Rockies (R).