BINGHAMTON, NY - The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are proud to announce Luis Rojas will return to the Southern Tier to serve as the team's manager for the 2018 season. Rojas will be joined by pitching coach Frank Viola, hitting coach Valentino Pascucci, bench coach Luis Rivera, athletic trainer Bob Grimes and strength and conditioning coach Kory Wan.
Rojas looks to build off a stellar 2017 season in Binghamton. In his first season managing at Double-A, Rojas mixed dominant pitching with timely hitting and impeccable defense to produce an 85-win season and a trip to the playoffs.
Rojas made his managerial debut in the organization with the GCL Mets (R) in 2011. Rojas led the Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A) from 2012 to 2014, a three-year stretch that included a South Atlantic League Championship in 2013. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native spent two seasons in the Florida State League with the St. Lucie Mets (High-A) before joining the Rumble Ponies.
Viola brings an impressive resume to Binghamton. The Long Island native won 176 games during a 15-year Major League playing career that included three seasons with the New York Mets. Among his many accomplishments, Viola was named to three All-Star Games, won the 1988 American League Cy Young Award, and was the 1987 World Series MVP. He won at least 20 games in a season twice, including a career-best 24 in 1988 with the Minnesota Twins.
Viola enters his seventh season coaching in the Mets organization. He joins the Rumble Ponies after spending the previous four seasons as pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51's (AAA). Viola also coached with the Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A) and Brooklyn Cyclones (SS-A).
Pascucci enters his second season as hitting coach for the Rumble Ponies and his fifth overall season as a coach in the Mets system. He belted 305 home runs during a 15-year playing career that included one stint with the New York Mets in 2011. Selected by the Montreal Expos in the 15th round of the 1999 draft, Pascucci made his Major League debut with the team in 2004.
Pascucci enjoyed a two-season stint in Japan with Chiba Lotte that included a championship in 2005 under former Mets manager Bobby Valentine. He returned to the States in 2010 and played parts of three seasons in the Mets organization.
Rivera returns to Binghamton after spending the last three seasons as manager for the Kingsport Mets (R) of the Appalachian League. In 2014, Rivera served as hitting coach for the Binghamton Mets and helped lead the team to an Eastern League championship.
Grimes returns for his third season as the team's athletic trainer and 30th season overall in professional baseball. Before joining the Mets in 2016, he spent 27 years in the Chicago Cubs organization.
Kory Wan returns to the Rumble Ponies for his second season in Binghamton. The 2018 season will be his fourth in the Mets system. A 2013 graduate of St. Leo University, Wan has spent time with the Kingsport Mets (R) and Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A).
The Rumble Ponies open the 2018 season at home on Thursday, April 5 against the Portland Sea Dogs (AA-Red Sox). Download the entire Rumble Ponies schedule at www.BINGRP.com today.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.