ROUND ROCK, Texas - Former Round Rock Express infielder Matt Kata is headed back to the big leagues; just don't look for him on a lineup card.
Kata, an Ohio native, will serve as manager of the Cleveland Indians newly formed youth baseball development programs. He retired from professional baseball last March and joined the Express front office as manager of baseball outreach, heading up youth camps and development programs. He also assisted with the expansion of Ryan Sanders Sports Turf Services.
"We're thrilled for Matt and his family. This is a tremendous opportunity for him to focus on what he's passionate about at such a high level," Express General Manager Chris Almendarez said. "The Indians are lucky to have such a class act join their organization and he will be greatly missed here in Round Rock."
Originally drafted out of Vanderbilt University by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Kata spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues with Arizona (2003-05), Philadelphia ('05), Texas ('07), Pittsburgh ('07) and Houston ('09). He currently holds numerous franchise records at the Triple-A level with the Express, including games played (413), multiple-hit games (116), sacrifice flies (19), at-bats (1516), most hits by a switch hitter (420) and hit by pitches (42).
The Express kicks off their 15th season at Dell Diamond on Thursday, April 3 against the Oklahoma City RedHawks. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!