Woodbridge, VA--- The Washington Nationals announced the Potomac Nationals' 2017 field staff earlier this afternoon, which features the return of four of Potomac's five coaches from the 2016 campaign. For the fourth straight season, Field Manager, Tripp Keister will lead the P-Nats.
Alongside Keister, Pitching Coach, Franklin Bravo (fourth season) and Hitting Coach, Luis Ordaz (second season) will also return. Also in his fourth campaign with the P-Nats, T.D. Swinford returns to serve as the Head Athletic Trainer. The lone newcomer to the staff will be Strength and Conditioning Coach, Gabe Torres.
Washington Nationals Vice President and Senior Advisor to the General Manager, Bob Boone, Assistant General Manager and Vice President, Player Personnel, Doug Harris, and Director of Player Development, Mark Scialabba made the joint announcement.
Keister comes back to the P-Nats after a playoff run in 2016 and will enter the 2017 season with the third most wins as a manager in franchise history. Keister led Potomac to its fifth Mills Cup Championship in franchise history in 2014.
Keister, 46, has spent time at the helm of both the Class-A Hagerstown Suns and Gulf Coast League Nationals in addition to his time with Potomac.
Drafted by the New York Mets in the 33rd round pick in the 1992 MLB Draft out of the University of Delaware, Keister played in 341 games over four seasons in the Mets' system.
The P-Nats' skipper served as the Head Baseball Coach and Associate Athletic Director at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware from 2006 to 2011, where he won a Conference Coach of the Year Award. Keister also served as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina from 1996-1998 and held the head coach position at Delaware State University from 1999-2000.
Bravo, in his 15th season within the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise, returns once again as the Pitching Coach for Potomac. The native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic broke into baseball as a 17-year-old with the Gulf Coast League Pirates in 1996 and spent five seasons as a player in Minor League Baseball.
Bravo has spent time serving in various pitching duties in the Dominican Summer League (2003), with the Short-Season A Vermont Expos/Lake Monsters (2004-2010), the Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays (2011), and the Hagerstown Suns (2012-2013).
Bravo has mentored numerous top pitching prospects recently, as RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Erick Fedde, RHP Reynaldo Lopez, RHP Nick Pivetta, and current Washington Nationals RHP Koda Glover have advanced under his guidance in just the past two seasons.
Ordaz returns for his second season with the P-Nats. The 41-year-old out of Maracaibo, Venezuela, will be in his seventh season in Washington's Minor League system.
Ordaz, signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an International Free Agent in 1992, played in parts of seven seasons in the Majors. Ordaz played in 206 games between stints with the St. Louis Cardinals (1997-1999), Kansas City Royals (2000-2002), and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2006).
The returning hitting coach, Ordaz worked as the hitting coach for Auburn from 2011 to 2013 and for Hagerstown in 2014 and 2015.
Back for his fourth season with the P-Nats, Swinford will once again serve as the team's Head Athletic Trainer. Occupying a Head Athletic Trainer role for the seventh season in Washington's Minor League system, Swinford has worked for both Auburn (2011-2012), and Hagerstown (2013).
Swinford helped oversee five Washington Nationals on rehab assignments in 2016, as 1B Ryan Zimmerman, IF Stephen Drew, RHP Matt Belisle, LHP Sammy Solis, and RHP Jonathan Papelbon each donned the P-Nats' Red, White, & Blue over the 2016 season.
Before Swinford's work with the Nationals, he worked under the Baltimore Orioles umbrella for the Frederick Keys (2004-2006) and the Bluefield Orioles (2007-2010).
Torres will serve as the fresh face among P-Nats coaches in 2017. Previously the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Auburn (2016) and Hagerstown (2015), Torres is a 2012 graduate of the University of South Carolina-Beaufort.
Torres replaces Mike Warren, who was named the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs.
Opening Day 2017 for the Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium is scheduled for Thursday, April 13th, as the P-Nats are set to host the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals).
P-Nats' 2017 ticket plans are currently on sale. For more information or to purchase any of these plans, contact Potomac Nationals Director of Ticket Operations, Chris Bentivegna, by phone at 703-590-2311, ext. 225, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
For more information or to book a group outing for the 2017 P-Nats season, contact Potomac Nationals Group Sales Executive, Alec Manriquez, at 703-590-2311, ext. 221, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate partnership opportunities are also currently available for the 2017 season and beyond. Inquire about corporate partnerships by calling 703-590-2311 ext. 213.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 season and beyond are available, as well as corporate outings for the 2017 season to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2017 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket office at 703-590-2311.