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B-Mets announce 2013 field staff01/17/2013 12:39 PM ET
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The New York Mets announced today that all five members of the Binghamton Mets field staff from last season, led by manager Pedro Lopez, will return to guide the club in 2013.
Lopez, 43, will be joined by hitting coach Luis Natera and pitching coach Glenn Abbott. Athletic trainer Matt Hunter and strength & conditioning coach Dustin Clarke round out the staff.
Managing at the Double-A level for the first time, Lopez steered the 2012 Binghamton Mets to a 68-74 record. The native of Puerto Rico also celebrated his 500th managerial win on Sept. 2, when the B-Mets defeated the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) at NYSEG Stadium.
Lopez has steadily climbed the Mets' Minor League managerial ladder, compiling winning records at each stop leading to Binghamton. His journey began with the Kingsport Mets (Rookie) in 2008, where he guided the club to a 34-32 mark. Under his watch in 2009, the Brooklyn Cyclones (Class A Short-Season) finished second in the McNamara Division and punched their ticket to the New York-Penn League postseason with a 45-30 record. Lopez kept the success rolling at his next managerial stop with the Savannah Sand Gnats (Class A) in 2010. They went 75-64, but missed a playoff berth by two games.
As skipper of the St. Lucie Mets (Class A Advanced) in 2011, his squad charged out of the gate, going 18-3 to start the season, en route to the first-half South Division crown. In the postseason, the Mets defeated the Bradenton Marauders to take the South Division championship, before falling to the Daytona Cubs in the FSL Championship Series.
The former catcher logged 13 seasons in the Minor Leagues as a player after being drafted in the 21st round by the San Diego Padres in 1988. He reached as high as Triple-A with the Las Vegas Stars before joining the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1995. Lopez finished his playing career in the Houston Astros system in 2000. In 909 career games, he hit .247, clocked 49 home runs and drove in 338 runs.
Pedro and his wife, Gladys, have twin daughters, Leslian Marie and Lainey Marie and reside in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.
Entering his third season in the New York Mets' organization, Abbott returns to the Southern Tier for his second year as pitching coach. Prior to his time with the Mets, Abbott was a pitching coach for five years in the San Diego Padres' system, spent four seasons with the Texas Rangers organization and logged 13 years at various levels with the Oakland Athletics. The Arkansas native began his coaching career with the Little Falls Mets in 1985.
After getting drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round in 1969, Abbott spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues as a starting pitcher for the A's (1973-76), Seattle Mariners (1977-83) and Detroit Tigers (1983-84). In 248 career games, the right-hander made 206 starts, went 62-83, posted a 4.39 ERA, amassed 484 strikeouts and hurled five shutouts.
As a member of the Athletics in 1975, Abbott was part of the first four-pitcher no-hitter in MLB history. On Sept. 28, he combined with Vida Blue, Paul Linblad and Rollie Fingers to baffle the Angels on the final day of the regular season.
Abbott resides with his wife, Patti, in North Little Rock, Ark. The couple has three children, Todd, Jeff and Amy.
Luis Natera will serve as the B-Mets hitting coach for the sixth straight season and seventh overall. This year marks Natera's 22nd in the Mets organization. He has served as a hitting coach at five different levels during that timeframe, including stints with Buffalo (Triple-A, 2009), St. Lucie (Class A Advanced, 2007), Hagerstown (Class A, 2005-06), Kingsport (Rookie, 2003-04), and Capital City (Class A, 1999).
Natera served in his native country as coordinator of the Mets' Dominican Academy in 2001 and 2002. He managed the Dominican Mets (Rookie) in 2002, and skippered the DSL Mets from 1992-1997.
The 47-year-old played shortstop in the Mets system from 1984-88 and reached as high as the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats. He lives with wife Maria Elena and their sons Luis Alberto, Jose Luis and David Luis.
The B-Mets also welcome back athletic trainer Matt Hunter for his third season, and strength & conditioning coach Dustin Clarke for his second campaign. Hunter entered the ranks of fatherhood this offseason, when he and wife, Kendra welcomed son Nicolas Marco on Oct. 16.
The B-Mets kick off their 22nd season on Thu, April 4, on the road against the Akron Aeros. Fans can get their first glimpse of the boys of summer at the home opener at NYSEG Stadium on April 11 when they host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at 6:35 p.m.
Season tickets and minipacks for the 2013 season are on sale now. Please visit the B-Mets box office during regular business hours, or call (607)723-METS (6387) to order yours today.