The Arkansas Travelers in conjunction with their parent club the Seattle Mariners are excited to announce the Travs coaching staff for this season led by new Manager Christian Colón. Joining Colón on the Travs staff are two returners from 2023 in Michael Peoples (Pitching Coach), Jose Umbria (Bench Coach) while
The Arkansas Travelers in conjunction with their parent club the Seattle Mariners are excited to announce the Travs coaching staff for this season led by new Manager Christian Colón. Joining Colón on the Travs staff are two returners from 2023 in Michael Peoples (Pitching Coach), Jose Umbria (Bench Coach) while Hitting Coach Mike Fransoso is new to the club. Athletic Trainers Amanda Lee and Andy Turner as well as strength coach Stephany Soto all return from this past year as well.
Christian Colón, 34, takes over as manager of the club. It is Colón’s first assignment as a minor league skipper and his third season in the coaching ranks. He spent the past two seasons on the staff of league rival Northwest Arkansas (Royals Double-A) serving as bench coach and assistant hitting coach. Colón spent 12 seasons playing professional baseball through 2021 including parts of six years in the big leagues. He played in the Majors for Kansas City (2014-17), Miami (2017) and Cincinnati (2019-20) including winning a World Series title with the Royals in 2015. He drove in the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 12th inning of the decisive fifth game of the 2015 World Series. A former Texas League player (with Northwest Arkansas) he was drafted fourth overall by Kansas City following an All-American career at Cal-State Fullerton. Born in Puerto Rico, Colón now resides with his family in Cave Springs, Arkansas.
“I am truly honored and excited to join the Arkansas Travelers as their manager for the 2024 season”, Colón said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this talented team and am looking forward to a fantastic season ahead as we continue to develop the future stars of the Seattle Mariners organization.”
Michael Peoples returns for a second season as the Pitching Coach with Arkansas. In his first season with the Travelers in 2023, Peoples led a pitching staff that saw eight hurlers called directly to Seattle from Double-A. He entered the coaching ranks last year having retired from a playing career that saw him pitch the previous three seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan for the Yokohama DeNA Baystars. Prior to that he was in the Cleveland minor league system from 2012-2019 including being named the organization's Pitcher of the Year in 2016. He reached as high as the Triple-A level. A 14th round draft pick by Cleveland in 2012 out of Western Oklahoma State, Peoples is a native of Weatherford, Texas.
Mike Fransoso begins his first season as the Travelers hitting coach, his fifth year in the Mariners organization. He spent the 2023 season with High-A Everett as the AquaSox led the Northwest League in home runs and runs scored. Fransoso spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons as a hitting coach with the Mariners affiliate in the Arizona League and was scheduled to be the hitting coach for a short season club in 2020 before the minor league schedule was canceled. A 27th round draft pick by Pittsburgh out of the University of Maine, he played three seasons in the Pirates organization as well as four years of independent baseball. He is a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Jose Umbria returns to the Travelers coaching staff as bench coach after spending last season as assistant hitting coach and catching coach. Umbria will be in his 14th season as a coach in the Mariners system. He spent two seasons as the bench coach for High-A Everett prior to joining Arkansas. In 2019 he was the hitting coach for the High-A affiliate and in 2018 held the same role for the Low-A affiliate. He was honored by the Mariners as the Dave Henderson Minor League Staff Member of the Year in 2018. Since joining Seattle in 2010, he has coached at six different minor league affiliates. Umbria signed with Toronto as an international free agent in 1995 and played as a catcher in the Blue Jays system from 1996-2005 reaching as high as Triple-A. His playing career concluded with two seasons in independent ball. He is a native of Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Amanda Lee returns for her fourth season with the Travelers as head athletic trainer. 2024 marks her sixth season in the Mariners organization. Lee was the athletic trainer for the Mariners short-season club in 2019 and worked at the Dodgers Arizona training facility in 2018. She also worked as an athletic training intern with the Tulsa Drillers in 2017 upon finishing college. A native of the Tulsa area, Lee hails from Glenpool, Oklahoma.
Andy Turner returns to the Travs as well for a second season as assistant athletic trainer. He joined the Mariners organization last year, his third in professional baseball. Turner served as an athletic training associate in the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 2022 while completing his Master’s degree.
Stephany Soto rounds out the Arkansas staff as she returns for a second season as the strength and conditioning coach. It is her second season in the Mariners organization. Soto has extensive experience as a strength and conditioning coach at private facilities in Arizona and Florida as one year with the San Diego Padres organization.
Highlights from the 2024 promotional schedule will be released in the coming days, followed by a full slate of promotions to be released on January 31st. Single game tickets for the Travs 2024 season go on sale to the general public on Thursday, February 1.
Founded in 1901, the Arkansas Travelers are the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners and call Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock home. The Travs will begin their 2024 campaign at home on Friday, April 5th, versus the Springfield Cardinals. For all the latest information with the club and events at the ballpark, log on to travs.com or follow the Travelers on Facebook (/ArkansasTravelers), Instagram (@artravs), Threads (@artravs) and Twitter/X (@artravs). Dickey-Stephens Park is a cashless facility, and the Travelers have a clear bag policy for all events.