BURLINGTON, NC. (January 10, 2020)- The Burlington Royals announced today their coaching staff for the 2020 season. Joining Tony Peña Jr. for his first season as the Burlington Royals manager will be pitching coach John Habyan and hitting coach Ramón Castro. The training staff will consist of Brad Groleau, and Joey Mañana, both returning from the previous season.
Peña Jr., 38, spent the 2019 baseball season as manager of the Arizona League Royals where he led the team to a 33-23 (.589) record. He was signed in 1999 by the Atlanta Braves and made his major league debut with Atlanta on April 13th, 2006.
Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Peña Jr. played in 4 Major League seasons as a shortstop, and pitcher with the Atlanta Braves (2006), and the Kansas City Royals (2007-2009). Peña Jr. also played 10 minor league seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, and the Boston Red Sox, as well as two years playing in the Mexican Baseball League.
Peña Jr. is the son of Tony Peña, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1980-1986), St Louis Cardinals (1987-1989), Boston Red Sox (1990-1993), Cleveland Indians (1994-1996), Chicago White Sox (1997), Houston Astros (1997). After Peña's playing career, he went on to become a manager with the Kansas City Royals (2002-2005), as well as a coach with the New York Yankees (2006-2017).
Habyan, 55, joins the Burlington Royals as pitching coach for his first season as a coach in the minor leagues. Habyan has spent the last five seasons with Hofstra University as their pitching coach. During his tenure at Hofstra University, his pitching staff was able to establish new team records in ERA (3.59, 2018) and strikeouts (412, 2017).
The New York native was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 3rd round of the 1982 Major League Draft. Habyan played all or part of 11 Major League seasons as a relief pitcher and went 26-24 with a 3.85 ERA for the Baltimore Orioles (1985-1988), New York Yankees (1990-1993), Kansas City Royals (1993), St. Louis Cardinals (1994-1995), California Angels (1995), and the Colorado Rockies (1996).
Castro, 40, This will be his first year with the Burlington Royals, after serving as the hitting coach for the Surprise Saguaros (Arizona Fall League) from 2018-2019. His coaching career follows an 18-year playing career in the minors with the Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, and the San Francisco Giants from 1997-2014, including his Major League debut with the A's in 2004.
The training staff will consist of Brad Groleau who is returning as the Athletic Trainer of the team. Groleau spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons serving as the intern athletic trainer with the Omaha Storm Chasers. Joey Mañana will also return for his second season as the strength and conditioning coach, after filling multiple roles across the short-season affiliates in 2019.
Mikie Morrison, General Manager of the team remarked on the new coaching staff, "We hate to see any manager leave, but I am happy and thrilled for Chris Widger moving up to Wilmington. It's a well-deserved promotion and allows him to stay at home. The 2020 season is going to be an exciting year, and I'm looking forward to working with Tony Peńa Jr and the rest of the staff."