KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- The Kingsport Mets have announced their coaching staff for the 2016 Appalachian League season. Luis Rivera returns for his second season as the Kingsport Mets manager. Joining Rivera in his first year as Kingsport Mets pitching coach, Royce Ring. Also joining Rivera and in his first year as Kingsport hitting coach, Ender Chavez.
Rivera enters his second season as manager for the Kingsport Mets. Rivera led the Kingsport Mets to the playoffs, winning the West Division with a 40-32 record last season. Before becoming Manager, he had spent the previous three seasons as the Mets' short-season hitting coordinator. Rivera served as hitting coach for Kingsport in 2011. As a player, Rivera was a middle infielder in the minor leagues for the Mets and the Chicago Cubs organization from 2005-2010, making it as high as Buffalo (AAA) of the International League in 2009.
Ring enters his first season as pitching coach for the Kingsport Mets. It will be his third year as a pitching coach in the Mets organization. He was the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast Mets the previous two seasons. Ring, who was selected in the first round (18th overall) by the Chicago White Sox, pitched in the majors from 2005-2010 with the Mets, Braves, Padres and Yankees. In 99 appearances, he compiled a 3-3 record with a 5.29 ERA in 68 innings.
Chavez begins his first season as hitting coach for the Kingsport Mets. He spent the previous three seasons as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast Mets. It will be his sixth year in the Mets organization. Chavez played in the minor leagues from 1998-2008 with Rockies, Mets and Expos. EH also played for Navigates de Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League from 1998-2006 and Bravos de Margarita from 2007-2008.
Giovanni D'Onza enters his first year as the team's athletic trainer and his third season overall in the Mets organization. He had spent the previous year as the Gulf Coast Mets trainer and in 2014 worked as the Athletic Training Coordinator at the Mets Dominican Academy. Before joining the Mets, D'Onza worked for the Professional Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Manhattan.
Matt Haug begins his first season with Mets organization as strength and conditioning coach. He previously worked at Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training in 2015. Coached baseball and oversaw the Strength and Conditioning program at Ancilla College from 2012-2014. Haug earned his master's from Miami (OH) in Exercise Science and a B.S. from Chicago State University.