GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers announce that Matt Erickson will manage the Timber Rattlers in 2014. Erickson, who began his coaching career in 2009 as the hitting coach of the Timber Rattlers, returns to manage the club for his fourth season. He will be joined by three new coaches on his staff while trainer Jeff Paxson returns to the club for 2014.
Erickson, a graduate of Appleton West High School has a record of 204-209 in 413 regular season games as the skipper of the Timber Rattlers. He is currently second in career regular season wins as a manager of the Timber Rattlers. Gary Thurman, who managed Wisconsin from 2000 through 2002, had a 215-198 record in his three seasons. Erickson was the manager of the Timber Rattlers when they won the Midwest League title for in 2012, the first pennant in team history.
Elvin Nina, who is entering his sixth season as a coach in the Milwaukee system, will be Erickson's new pitching coach for 2014. Nina pitched ten seasons in the minor leagues after the Oakland Athletics picked him in the 17th round of the 1995 draft out of Oklahoma State University. Nina spent last season as the pitching coach for Helena, the Pioneer league affiliate of the Brewers. Helena's pitching staff finished third in the Pioneer League in ERA as the team made it to the league championship series before dropping a decisive Game Three to Idaho Falls.
Chuckie Caufield spent six seasons as a player in the Brewers organization and one year in independent baseball before joining Milwaukee as a coach. Caufield, a 39th round pick in the 2006 draft out of the University of Oklahoma, hit .275 in 665 games and made it as high as Triple-A Nashville in 2010. Caufield spent last season as the hitting coach in Helena and steered the Brewers to a .279 team average (3rd in the Pioneer League) and 472 runs (3rd) over 76 games.
Ken Dominguez will also be entering his sixth season as a coach in the Brewers system when the Timber Rattlers begin their 2014 campaign. Dominguez spent the first four years with Milwaukee as a coach for their Arizona League affiliate. He was a for the Huntsville Stars in the Southern League during 2013. Dominguez has also coached in the minor league systems of the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He has also been a coach at Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Tampa.
Paxson will be back for his fifth season as the athletic trainer of the Timber Rattlers and his 21st as a trainer in the Brewers organization. Paxson has been Trainer of the Year in the California League (2000), Pacific Coast League (2007), and the Midwest League (1997, 2010, & 2011). "Pax" was also named the National Trainer of the Year in 2011 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.
Erickson and his staff will work their first Midwest League game together when the Timber Rattlers host the Peoria Chiefs to open the 2014 season on Thursday, April 3 at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium at 6:35pm. Single game tickets are not available, but season ticket packages and tickets for groups of twenty or more are for sale now.
Contact the Timber Rattlers ticket office at (920) 733-4152 or (800) WI-TIMBER for more information.