LAKEWOOD, NJ - Mickey Morandini will return to Lakewood and manage the BlueClaws again in 2013, the Phillies announced Tuesday. Greg Legg will again serve as the BlueClaws hitting coach and Aaron Fultz will take over as the team's pitching coach after working with short-season Williamsport last year.
Morandini is the third BlueClaws manager to lead the team in multiple seasons, joining PJ Forbes (2004-2005) and Steve Roadcap (2007-2008).
"I'm looking forward to coming back," said Morandini. "We have a great ballpark, great fans, and a great atmosphere. It's a fun place to play baseball."
Drafted by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 1988 draft (Indiana University), Morandini played 11 years in the Major Leagues, including parts of nine seasons with the Phillies. He was on the 1993 National League Championship club and a 1995 All-Star. Morandini was the head coach of Valparaiso High School in Indiana for four years and managed Williamsport in 2011 before joining the BlueClaws last year.
Legg has been in the Phillies system as a player, coach, or manager since the team drafted him in 1982. He served as the first BlueClaws manager in 2001 and has been the team's hitting coach since 2008. Five BlueClaws tutored by Legg in Lakewood over the last five seasons have already reached the Major Leagues (Domonic Brown, Freddy Galvis, and Michael Taylor from 2008; Anthony Gose from 2009; Darin Ruf from 2010).
In addition to working together last year, Morandini and Legg played together when both were coming up through the Phillies system.
"I'm looking forward to having him come back and work with the hitters again," said Morandini. "He's a great guy and works very hard."
Fultz will start his first year with the BlueClaws after serving as the pitching coach last year with short-season Williamsport. He pitched in the Major Leagues with five teams, including a two-year stint (2006-2006) with the Phillies. This will be his second season as a professional coach.
Minor league coaches and players will report to Clearwater for Spring Training in early March and the BlueClaws will open the season on April 4th at FirstEnergy Park against Kannapolis (White Sox).
The 2013 schedule includes the South Atlantic League All-Star Game at FirstEnergy Park, presented by Kimball and Community Medical Centers, OceanFirst Bank, and Shore Point Distributing Company. The All-Star Game is June 18th, with a "Celebrity Hitting Challenge" on June 17th. For more information on these events, please visit BlueClaws.com/AllStar.
The BlueClaws and Atlantic Physical Therapy Center have launched Restore The Shore Fridays, through which businesses and families wear special Restore The Shore t-shirts each Friday through Memorial Day while making a donation to BlueClaws Charities. In 2013, 100% of the proceeds from this program will be returned to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. More information is available at BlueClaws.com/Restore.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.