JUPITER, FL - The Palm Beach Cardinals have announced the field staff for the upcoming 2017 season with former Manager Dann Bilardello moving from Springfield to Palm Beach. Replacing Bilardello will be Johnny Rodriguez, coming from the New York-Penn League affiliate State College. Joining Bilardello for the 2017 season are Pitching Coach Randy Niemann, Hitting Coach Erick Almonte, Trainer Brent Neuharth and Strength Coach, Aaron Rhodes.
Bilardello returns to his home state of Florida after spending the past two season in Springfield where he guided the Cardinals to the 2016 first-half North Division Championship last season. The 2017 season will mark Bilardello's eighth season managing within the Cardinals system and twelfth overall. As a former Major League catcher, Bilardello compiled a 574-556 career record and has previous experience managing within the Cardinals system for the Batavia Muckdogs (Short-A) from 2010-2012, the Peoria Chiefs (Low-A) in 2013, and the Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) in 2014.
Prior to managing, Bilardello served as the Minor League Catching Coordinator. In 2012, he led Batavia to an outstanding 44-32 record finishing only one game out of the wild card and two behind the division leader. Prior to joining the Cardinals system, Bilardello came from the Red Sox organization where he managed the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He also spent three seasons in the Dodgers organization in the Pioneer league prior to his time in the Carolina League.
Randy Niemann returns as pitching coach for the third straight year and fifth overall in the Cardinals Player Development system. Niemann helped the Palm Beach squad to a league leading ERA (2.65), shutouts (21), saves (46), fewest runs allowed (438), home runs allowed (29), and walks issued (239) in 2015.
Erick Almonte will act as hitting coach for the 2017 season, his fourth overall within the Cardinals system. Prior to Palm Beach, Almonte coached in the Dominican Summer League from 2014-2016. Almonte played professionally for sixteen years, including three different season in the Major Leagues in which he tallied 55 career Major League games.
Brent Neuharth will rejoin the Palm Beach Cardinals staff as the athletic Trainer. Aaron Rhodes will serve as the Strength Coach for the Cardinals.
About Jupiter Stadium, LTD: Opened in 1998, this $28 million complex/stadium is specially designed to house two Major League and two Minor League Baseball Teams. The stadium is home to the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals for Spring Training. The Florida State League's Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A Advanced Affiliate of the Miami Marlins) and Palm Beach Cardinals (Class A Advanced Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) make their home at Roger Dean Stadium from April through September. This year round facility can accommodate the smallest birthday party to the largest corporate outing, while never forgetting that each and every fan is our most important product.