The Peoria Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals have announced that Jobel Jimenez will be the Chiefs hitting coach for the 2014 season with Erik Pappas having been promoted to Double-A Springfield.
Jimenez has been an instructor in the Cardinals organization since 2007 and spent last season as the hitting coach with the Rookie Level Gulf Coast Cardinals. Under his tutelage the GCL Cardinals finished seventh in the 16-team league in batting average and fifth in slugging percentage. Prior to joining the GCL squad he was the hitting coach for the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals. Jimenez worked in the Boston Red Sox organization from 2001-2006 as a scout, outfield instructor and hitting coach in both Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
A native of Venezuela, Jimenez played in the Los Angeles Dodgers system in 1993 and 1994 before joining the Dodgers organization as a scout. He worked for the Dodgers as a Venezuelan Summer League scout and outfield instructor from 1994-1998 and then spent two seasons in the same capacity with the Florida Marlins.
Pappas guided the Chiefs offense to a .256 team average last season with just 817 strikeouts, the lowest for any team in the MWL. With the hiring of Philip Wellman by the Angels as a Double-A manager, Springfield had an opening in their hitting coach position leading to Pappas' promotion.
The teams also announced that Lance Thomason will be the Chiefs Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2014. Thomason spent the 2013 season in the same capacity with the Johnson City Cardinals in the Appalachian League as a member of Joe Kruzel's staff. Kruzel was named Chiefs Manager for 2014 back in December and will be joined by returning 2013 Chiefs staff members Jason Simontacchi (Pitching Coach) and Michael Petrarca (Athletic Trainer).