BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Michael Johns has been named the fourth manager in Bowling Green Hot Rods history, the Tampa Bay Rays announced on Monday. Johns takes over for Jared Sandberg, who will manage Class A Advanced Charlotte. The Rays also announced pitching coach Bill Moloney, hitting coach Dan DeMent and athletic trainer Nick Flynn will comprise Johns' staff this season.
Johns is entering his seventh season in the Tampa Bay organization, and his fifth as a manager. He spent the 2013 campaign as the manager in Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley, and led the Renegades to a 38-37 record in New York-Penn League play. He skippered the Princeton Rays for three seasons, winning 99 games while with the Rays' Appalachian League affiliate. This will be Johns' first season managing at the full-season level.
"I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Rays for allowing me the opportunity to manage the Bowling Green Hot Rods," said Johns. "My staff and I are very excited for the 2014 season and I look forward to joining the Bowling Green community."
Johns' playing career began in 1997 when he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 19th round of the amateur draft out of Tulane University. He spent two seasons in the Rockies system, reaching Class-A Asheville in 1998. He finished out his playing career in 1999. Johns joined the Tampa Bay organization in 2008 as a coach with Hudson Valley.
Moloney returns to Bowling Green after tutoring the pitchers in Port Charlotte in 2013. He has been a pitching coach in the Tampa Bay organization since 2007, and was in Bowling Green for the 2012 season. He has also coached in the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds organizations, and played six seasons in the minor leagues, mostly with the Red Sox. He appeared in 216 career games as a professional, and played three seasons with Triple-A Pawtucket.
DeMent will be tasked with leading the hitters, and like Johns, joins Bowling Green from Hudson Valley. He was the hitting coach for the Renegades for the last two seasons, and is beginning his sixth year as a member of the Rays' minor league field staff. DeMent was signed by Tampa Bay out of the University of Alabama in 2000. He recorded 803 hits in 863 career minor league games, and played in 78 contests at the Triple-A level.