When the 131st season of International League baseball commences April 3, five of the League's fourteen franchises will have a different field manager at the helm from a year ago. Just two of the five new skippers, however, are making their IL debut. The men charged with developing their major league affiliate's top prospects this season bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge to their Triple-A team.
The IL will have four skippers in 2014 who have previously managed in the major leagues, including a pair of International League Hall of Fame members in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Dave Miley (Class of 2014) and returning Toledo manager Larry Parrish (Class of 2013). Miley and Parrish have won four Governors' Cups and three IL Manager of the Year Awards between them. Former Cleveland Indians manager Joel Skinner is back for the first season of Knights baseball at the team's new home in uptown Charlotte. Also returning in Louisville is Jim Riggleman, a veteran of well over 1,400 games as a big league manager with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners, and Nationals.
In addition to Miley, Skinner, and Riggleman, six other managers are returning to their 2013 International League club, including the defending IL Manager of the Year Charlie Montoyo. The Durham skipper won his second Governors' Cup last season. Also back is the manager of the back-to-back West Division champion Indianapolis Indians, Dean Treanor. In Rochester, Gene Glynn hopes for more success this year on the heels of guiding the Red Wings to their first postseason appearance since 2006. His club narrowly captured the Wild Card by besting Norfolk and manager Ron Johnson, who returns for a third season with the Tides. Rounding out the group of returning managers are two men entering their second season with their respective clubs, Dave Brundage of Lehigh Valley and Chris Tremie of Columbus.
Larry Parrish isn't the only manager making a return this season after having previously managed in the International League. In Buffalo, former IL MVP Gary Allenson joins the Bisons for his 8th season managing in the League. Also returning is former Richmond Braves manager Brian Snitker, who will assume the same role with Atlanta's current affiliate in Gwinnett.
These twelve managers have combined to win over 5,500 games at the Triple-A level. They will be joined by two managers making their debut at the Triple-A level. Billy Gardner, Jr., son of former Twins and Royals manager Billy Gardner, Sr., will be in Syracuse for his 20th season overall as a Minor League manager. In Pawtucket, the defending North Division champions will be guided by Kevin Boles, who at 38 will be the League's youngest manager.
The 2014 International League field managers include seven of the top fifteen winningest active skippers in all of Minor League Baseball with Miley (2nd), Johnson (6th), Gardner (9th), Montoyo (10th), Allenson (13th), Snitker (14th), and Brundage (15th). The entire group has combined to win well over 13,000 Minor League games as well as seven Governors' Cup titles. Just one manager, however, is destined to have his name etched onto the IL's coveted postseason trophy when the 2014 season concludes this September.