NORWICH, CT- The Connecticut Tigers, Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, announce their 2017 coaching staff led by first-year Manager Gerald Laird. The 2017 season kicks off Monday, June 19th at Dodd Stadium as the Tigers take on the Tri-City ValleyCats.
Taking over the helm in Norwich is 13-year MLB veteran catcher Gerald Laird. The Garden Grove, California native was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round of the 1998 amateur draft and made his MLB debut in 2003 with the Texas Rangers. He went on to play 799 games for the Rangers, Tigers, Cardinals, Braves, and Diamondbacks. Laird was a member of the 2012 American League champion Detroit Tigers and the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Returning to the Connecticut staff for his second season is Pitching Coach Ace Adams. Adams is a native of Longmeadow, Massachusetts and has over 30 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional level. Ace was a collegiate assistant at the University of Michigan, Brandeis University, Harvard University and Dartmouth College before coaching assignments in the Expos, Marlins, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Astros organizations.
Joining the Tigers staff for the first time in 2017 will be new Hitting Coach Rafael Martinez. Having served as Manager of the Dominican Summer League Tigers from 2011-2015 and the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2016, the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native is entering his 12th season as a coach in the Detroit Tigers organization.
Also joining the staff for the first time in 2017 will be Athletic Trainer Jarad Branski and Strength & Conditioning Coach Edwin Ortiz. 2017 marks Branski's third season with the Detroit Tigers organization, having served as an Athletic Trainer for the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2015 and 2016. 2017 will be Ortiz's second season with the Tigers organization, having served in the same role for the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2016 and since 2013 for the Indios de Mayaguez in Puerto Rico's Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente.
The Connecticut Tigers are the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut. 2017 season tickets, mini plans, and team merchandise are now on sale! The front office and box office is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and can be accessed in person or by calling 860-887-7962.