ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express will have a new face to lead them in 2014 as the Texas Rangers announced their minor league coaching staffs Wednesday afternoon. Former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele (boo-SHEL) was named manager of the Express. This will be his first managerial post at the Triple-A level. Former Express manager Bobby Jones joined the Rangers major league coaching staff as an assistant hitting coach back in November.
Another new addition to the staff is Justin Mashore who will serve as hitting coach. Pitching coach Brad Holman, coach Spike Owen, athletic trainer Jason Roberts and strength coach Ric Mabie are all returning to the coaching staff in 2014. Former Express hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh has been named hitting coordinator for the Rangers organization.
Buechele served as manager for the Rangers Double-A affiliate, Frisco RoughRiders, for the past four seasons, posting a 301-258 record (.538). He guided the team to the Texas League Championship Series in 2012. In three of his seasons with Frisco, Buechele was named the Texas League's best managing prospect by Baseball America. In 2009, he made his managerial debut with Advanced-A Bakersfield, leading them to the postseason with a 75-65 record. Buechele was originally drafted by the Rangers in the fifth round of the 1982 draft. He had a successful career in the major leagues which spanned 11 seasons (1985-95) with three different organizations (Rangers, Cubs, Pirates). Seven of those seasons were spent with Texas where he played 835 games at third base, second-most in team history behind only Buddy Bell (901 games). He finished his playing career with a .245 average and 137 career home runs.
Mashore joins the Express in his third season as a hitting coach in the Rangers organization. He spent the 2013 campaign in Class-A Hickory and 2012 with the AZL Rangers. Prior to that, Mashore spent nine seasons coaching in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fifth round of the 1991 First Year Player Draft, he spent 11 seasons in the minor leagues with Detroit, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, New York-NL and Colorado. He appeared in seven games with San Diego in 1997 going 7-for-26 (.267) with three RBI.
Holman will return for his second season as pitching coach of the Express and his sixth overall with the Rangers organization. Owen, a former University of Texas baseball standout, returns to the coaching staff for the third consecutive season. He was previously a member of the coaching staff from 2002-06.
The Express kicks off their 15th season on Thursday, April 3 against the Oklahoma City RedHawks. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!