TROY, NY- The Houston Astros have announced their minor league field staffs, and the Tri-City ValleyCats have some familiar faces returning for the 2014 season. Ed Romero will return as field manager, Russ Steinhorn returns as hitting coach, and Chris Holt will take over the pitching coach duties. Corey O'Brien will serve as the team's athletic trainer.
Romero returns to Tri-City for his second season, after leading the 2013 club to their second New York-Penn League championship title in franchise history. The team finished with an overall record of 44-32, the second best in the league. The 2014 season will be Romero's 22nd year as a professional manager or coach. He has spent time with the Astros major league club as bench coach in 2009 and third base coach in 2008. From 1977-90, Romero played in 730 Major League games. That includes four American League Championship Series with the Brewers (1981-82) and Red Sox (1986-88), and two World Series appearances in 1982 and 1986.
Steinhorn also returns for his second season as the ValleyCats hitting coach. Under his guidance, Tri-City batters showed great discipline at the plate. The ValleyCats struck out the least number of times in the league (482) while drawing the second most amount of walks (248). 2013 was Steinhorn's first with the Astros organization, after spending the 2012 season with the Delaware State University baseball team as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Holt joins the ValleyCats for his first season as pitching coach, taking over for Doug White who will now serve as the Houston Astros roving pitching instructor. This is Holt's first season with the Astros organization, having previously served as an associate scout with the Baltimore Orioles for the past two seasons. He pitched in the minors for Pittsburgh in 2002 after getting drafted by the club out of Flagler College that year.
O'Brien enters his third season in the Astros organization, and first as the ValleyCats athletic trainer. He spent the past two seasons as athletic trainer for Houston's Rookie League affiliate, the Greeneville Astros. O'Brien is taking over for Michael Rendon, who will jump up to the Astros long-season A club, the Quad Cities River Bandits. Rendon spent two seasons with the ValleyCats.
Tri-City begins their 2014 season at home on Friday, June 13 versus the Connecticut Tigers. It will be the 13th season of baseball at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, as the 'Cats look to defend their New York-Penn League championship title. The full schedule is available online at tcvalleycats.com. Season tickets, mini-plans and flex plans are all available for purchase. For tickets, call 518-629-CATS or log-on to tcvalleycats.com.