Birmingham, AL - The Chicago White Sox announced Wednesday afternoon Julio Vinas has been named the Birmingham Barons manager for the 2015 season, citing the skipper's third consecutive year at the helm of the Double-A Southern League affiliate. Also returning from the 2014 season is pitching coach Britt Burns. Jamie Dismuke takes over as hitting coach, Joe Geck returns as head athletic trainer, and Tim Rodmaker is the Barons strength and conditioning coach.
Vinas enters his third season as Barons manager, becoming the first to manage Birmingham for three seasons since Terry Francona (1993-95). In two years with the Barons, Vinas has compiled a 137-143 record while his all-time record stands at 267-292. During his tenure as the 67th manager in Barons history, he led Birmingham to its first Southern League Championship since 2002, won the 2013 North Division First Half Championship and was named a coach for the World All-Stars in the 2013 Futures Game at Citi Field.
Prior to joining the Barons in 2013, Vinas led the Class-A Kannapolis Intimidators to a record of 61-76 during the 2012 season and the Class-A Winston-Salem Dash to a record of 69-71 in 2011.
A native of Miami, Fla., and a resident of Hialeah, Fla., Vinas was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 33rd round of the 1991 free-agent draft. Vinas, 4, enjoyed an 11-year Minor League playing career with four different organizations including the White Sox. He spent the 1995 season with the Barons as the team's catcher while leading a potent offense that included fan favorites Mike Cameron and Charles Poe. Under Francona, the Barons finished with a record of 80-64 while Vinas hit .269 (100-for-372) with six home runs and 61 RBI.
His coaching career began in the Orioles organization in 2001 as the Field Coach with the Gulf Coast Orioles. From 2002-04 Vinas served as a Roving Hitting Instructor for the Orioles before spending six seasons as their Minor League Hitting Coordinator from 2005-10.
"The Birmingham Barons are excited to have Julio as our manager for the 2015 season," said Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson. "He is an outstanding leader both on and off the field, and he is an aggressive competitor. His management style is what makes Barons baseball so much fun to watch."
The Barons pitching staff will again be led by Britt Burns, who enters his 22nd season of coaching at the professional level and third with the Barons. Under his guidance, the pitching staff posted 60 wins, seven shutouts and finished second in the Southern League with 1229.1 innings pitched.
Burns, 55, attended Huffman High School in Birmingham from 1975-77. Upon graduation, Burns held the state record for career victories (35) and currently holds the single season record for lowest ERA after posting a 0.00 mark in 1977. Burns was drafted in the third round of the 1978 draft and made his Major League debut with the White Sox at age 19. After winning 15 games during the 1980 season, Burns was an All-Star selection in 1981 and helped lead the White Sox to the ALCS in 1983. In his final season with the Sox in 1985, Burns won 18 regular season games.
After retiring in 1990, Burns served as a Pitching Coach in the Florida Marlins organization before becoming the Marlins Minor League Pitching Coordinator (1998-2000). He returned to the bench as a Pitching Coach for Class-AAA Calgary in 2001 before joining the Detroit Tigers organization as Pitching Coach for Class-AAA Toledo (2002, 2007), Class-AA Erie (2003) and Class-A Lakeland (2004-06). Burns spent two seasons with the Houston Astros organization as their Minor League Pitching Coordinator (2008-09).
Jamie Dismuke returns to the Southern League as the Barons hitting coach in 2015. Dismuke spent the 2004-08 seasons as the hitting coach for Double-A Chattanooga before serving as hitting coach for Triple-A Gwinnett from 2009-2013. He most recently served a short stint as hitting coach at Double-A Mississippi in 2014.
The first baseman was drafted out of Corcoran High School in Syracuse, N.Y., by the Cincinnati Reds in 1989 in the 12th round and spent nine seasons in the minors. Jamie spent the majority of his playing career as a part of the Reds system, while spending time in both the Toronto and Detroit systems.
"Bringing Burns back and the addition of Dismuke is going to give us one of the best coaching staffs in the Southern League," Nelson added. "Both are extremely experienced, baseballs guys who know what it takes to win."
Joe Geck, 45, enters his 22nd season in the White Sox system and a second stint with the Barons. Previously, Geck served 10 years as the head trainer for Birmingham before moving up to Triple-A Charlotte for three seasons. In 2002, the Michigan native was named as the Southern League's Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Tim Rodmaker joins the Barons staff as the team's strength and conditioning coach. He has been a member of the White Sox organization since 2006 with stops in Single-A Kannapolis and Rookie League Great Falls.
Birmingham opens the 2015 season Thursday, April 9 as Regions Field hosts the Mobile BayBears at 7:05 p.m. For tickets and more information, please call (205) 988-3200 or visit us at www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.