Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings will have a new face leading the way in 2014 as the Seattle Mariners announced Chris Prieto will serve as Manager for the 78th year of Clinton baseball. Prieto led the Pulaski Mariners to an Appalachian League Championship in 2013.
2014 will be Prieto's second season with the Mariners organization. Under his direction, Pulaski finished with a league-best 41-27 record in 2013 and a sweep in the Championship Series. Prior to joining the Mariners in 2013, he spent two seasons in the San Diego organization as a coach with the Eugene Emeralds. Prieto, 41, was originally selected by the Padres in the 24th round of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. Prieto played over 13 seasons in the minor leagues before making his Major League debut for the Angels in 2005. Prieto played alongside his brother, Rick, during his time in the Padres system and on May 30, 1998, the two became the first set of twins to play together in the same PCL game in over 30 years.
Mike Kinkade begins his fourth season in the Mariners organization, and his second in a row with Clinton. Previously, Kinkade was a coach for Everett in 2011 and then Manager for the AZL Mariners in 2012, where he led the team to a 31-25 record. Kinkade spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues from 1998 through 2008, including stints with the Mets, Orioles and Dodgers.
Cibney Bello will be Clinton's pitching coach in 2014 after spending the previous two seasons with the Arizona League Mariners. Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2000 with Seattle, Bello spent a total of eight seasons in the minor league system. Bello, 31, gained experience in the Midwest League when he pitched for Wisconsin during the 2005 season.
Geoff Swanson will serve as the athletic trainer for the upcoming season. He begins his second season in the Mariners organization after spending 2013 in Pulaski. Swanson graduated from the University of Illinois in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training. He received his Master of Health Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Rounding out Prieto's staff is performance specialist Taylor Nakamua, who enters his first season in the Seattle organization.
Clinton opens the 2014 season on the road Thursday, April 3 against Cedar Rapids. The home opener is set for Tuesday, April 8 as Clinton hosts the Lake County Captains at Ashford University Field at 6:30 PM. For tickets and group information, call the ticket office at 563-242-0727.