DANVILLE, VA. - The Atlanta Braves announced the 2015 Danville Braves coaching staff today. In his first appointment to Danville, Ralph "Rocket" Wheeler will be managing Danville this coming season. A veteran of 12 prior seasons in the Braves organization, Wheeler joins the D-Braves after managing the Gulf Coast Braves the last three seasons. A 13th-round draft pick in 1977 out of the University of Houston, Wheeler played 6 seasons in the Blue Jays organization and began his coaching career in 1981 while also a full-time player at Florence. Rocket owns a 1,257-1,359 (.482) record over 23 seasons managing at the Minor League level between the Blue Jays and Braves organization. "Rocket has been a stable force in the Braves organization for over 10 years and we are excited to have him come to Danville," stated Danville general manager David Cross. "The players enjoying playing for him and the fans will enjoy his personality."
Joining Wheeler as the pitching coach will be Dan Meyer, who will be in his second season as a professional coach and second year in Danville. The former first-round Draft pick of the Braves in 2002 played for Danville in 2002 and pitched in 103 games for the Braves, A's, and Marlins over 5 Major League season.
Hitting coach Ivan Cruz returns to Danville for his second straight season in Danville and his 20th year in professional baseball. Drafted by Detroit in the 28th round of the 1989 June free agent draft, Cruz would go on to play parts of five Major League seasons with the Yankees (1997), Pirates (1999-2000), and the Cardinals (2002).
And rounding out the staff is third-year athletic trainer Joe Luat. The 2014 Danville Braves will begin their home season June 25 versus the Greeneville Astros. For further information on the schedule, season tickets, promotional nights, and/or partnership opportunities please contact the Danville Braves office at (434) 797-3792 or log on to www.dbraves.com.