Cedar Rapids, IA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels, in conjunction with the Minnesota Twins, announce that J.P. Martinez, Brian Dinkelman and Steve Taylor will join manager Tommy Watkins to complete the 2017 Kernels Field Staff.
J.P. Martinez begins his third season as a coach in the Twins organization and his second season as the Kernels pitching coach. He previously served as the pitching coach for the GCL Twins in 2015. Before joining the Twins organization, Martinez was the head coach at Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell, LA in 2013 and 2014, and the pitching coach for the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League in 2014. Martinez was selected by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft out of the University of New Orleans. He pitched five seasons in the Twins and Orioles organizations, posting a career 17-14 record and 3.36 ERA with 40 saves. Martinez currently resides in Metairie, LA.
Brian Dinkelman begins his second season as the Kernels hitting coach. He previously served as the hitting coach for the GCL Twins in 2015. Dinkelman was selected by the Twins in the eighth round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft out of McKendree University in Lebanon, IL. He played eight seasons in the Twins organization from 2006-2013, including 23 Major League games in 2011, where he hit .301 (22-73) with a double and four RBI. Dinkelman played in the Midwest League for Beloit in 2007, batting .283 with seven HR and 21 RBI in 67 games. He currently resides in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Steve Taylor is the Kernels Athletic Trainer for 2017. He is a native of Columbus, OH and graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Allied Medical Professions in Athletic Training. He attended Auburn University for graduate school and graduated with a Master's degree in Exercise Science. While at The Ohio State University he worked with football, men's basketball, women's lacrosse, and baseball. While at Auburn University he was the Head Athletic Trainer at Dadeville High School. After graduating in 2013 from Auburn University he was hired by the Minnesota Twins. In 2013 he worked with the GCL Twins in the Gulf Coast League and from 2014-2015 he worked with the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League.
The Kernels open the 2017 Midwest League season at Beloit on Thursday, April 6th. They open the home season at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 8th vs. Beloit. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM.
Season ticket packages for the 2017 season are on sale now by calling the Kernels at (319) 896-7622 or email Sammy Brzostowski at Sammy@kernels.com. Individual game tickets for the 2017 season go on sale Monday, March 13th at 10:00 AM.