Bowling Green, KY - The Bowling Green Hot Rods and their parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays, named the new Field Staff that will guide the Class A team in 2010. Brady Williams will serve as the club's manager, replacing inaugural season skipper Matt Quatraro. He'll be joined by returning pitching coach RC Lichtenstein, and fellow new additions in coach Manny Castillo and athletic trainer Scott Thurston.
"While our staff plans new promotions for 2010 and our Holiday Open House on Friday night, this is a sure sign that spring is coming," said Hot Rods General Manager/CEO Brad Taylor. "We look forward to working with Brady, Manny, and Scott, while renewing acquaintances with RC and another set of talented players in 2010."
Williams earns a promotion to Bowling Green for his fifth season in the coaching ranks. The 30-year-old Floridian made his managerial debut with the Rays' Short Season Class A affiliate in Hudson Valley, NY, in 2009, leading the Renegades to a 38-37 record. Prior to 2009, Williams served as a coach with Class A Vero Beach in 2008, the Hot Rods' predecessors in Columbus, GA, in 2007, and in Southwest Michigan in 2006. A former first baseman, Williams played five seasons of minor league ball with the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Lichtenstein returns to the Hot Rods for a second consecutive season, his sixth overall in the Rays' farm system, and his third working with Williams. The Chicago-native led Hot Rods hurlers in 2009, leading with a staff that featured South Atlantic League All-Star Chris Andujar and the strikeout leader in Minor League Baseball, left-hander Matt Moore. Lichtenstein's return to the Hot Rods also marks a return to the Midwest League, the Hot Rods new home in 2010. He served as pitching coach of the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in 2005 and 2006. He coached with Williams during the '06 season in Michigan and again in 2008, the last of his two years in Vero Beach.
A former major league infielder, Castillo follows Williams from Hudson Valley to South Central Kentucky, replacing another former big leaguer, Hector Torres, as Hot Rods coach. Castillo enters his 13th season in the Rays' system, serving two stints managing Tampa's Dominican Summer League squad (1998-2001, 2007-08). Prior to his second stint in his native Dominican Republic, Castillo coached Class A Visalia (2006), Rookie-level Princeton (2003-05), and Class AA Orlando in 2002.
Prior to joining the Rays' coaching staff, Castillo spent eight years (1989-96) managing and coaching for the minor league affiliate of the Hiroshima Carp in the Dominican Republic. Before his coaching career began, he spent 18 years as a player, eventually spending three seasons in the big leagues with Kansas City (1981) and Seattle (1982-83).
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Like Castillo, Thurston comes to Bowling Green from upstate New York to join the Hot Rods staff. He will count 2010 as his third season with the Rays, originally joining the club in 2008 with Princeton. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, he interned with the Cleveland Indians medical staff in 2007. A native of Greeley, Colorado, he has a dual degree in dietetics and sports exercise science.
The other three members of the 2009 Field Staff have been reassigned within the Rays' organization. Quatraro is now a Roving Hitting Coordinator. Torres will work with young players as a coach for the Rays' Gulf Coast League affiliate. Medina returns to his Rays' roots with Princeton.
The Hot Rods are holding a Holiday Open House on Friday night, December 18, from 4-7 PM at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Hot Rods will display art collected for the Fueled by Art program presented by Flora Templeton Stuart. In addition, fans that bring a new, unwrapped toy can receive 25% off their entire order in The Body Shop. Friday is also the last day to take advantage of the Hot Rods' 'Blu' Christmas opportunity. Fans that book a group for 20 or more people and make a $100 deposit by Friday can win a Blu-ray Disc Play courtesy of Best Buy. For more information, call the Hot Rods at (270) 901-2121.