ZEBULON, N.C. – The Carolina Mudcats, in conjunction with the Milwaukee Brewers, are thrilled to announce that Nick Stanley has been named the new manager of the Mudcats for the 2024 season. The announcement came today as the Brewers announced their player development staff assignments for the 2024 season, including
ZEBULON, N.C. – The Carolina Mudcats, in conjunction with the Milwaukee Brewers, are thrilled to announce that Nick Stanley has been named the new manager of the Mudcats for the 2024 season. The announcement came today as the Brewers announced their player development staff assignments for the 2024 season, including Minor League managers and coaches for Carolina and Milwaukee’s six other affiliates.
A former NC State catcher, Stanley will lead a 2024 Mudcats coaching staff that includes Pitching Coach Michael O’Neal, Hitting Coach Austin Turner, Coach Liu Rodríguez, Coach Marcelo Alfonsín, Athletic Trainer Stevie Blackburn-Lazalde and Strength & Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen.
Stanley, Turner, Alfonsín and Blackburn-Lazalde all enter their first year with the Mudcats. O’Neal, Mergen and Rodríguez, meanwhile, are returnees, with O’Neal and Mergen back again from the 2023 season and Rodríguez returning from 2021.
Stanley, 36, is not only in his first season with the Mudcats, but also in his first season as a manager in the Brewers organization. Stanley, however, is entering his seventh season in the Milwaukee system having previously worked as bench coach of Double-A Biloxi in 2023, hitting coach with High-A Wisconsin from 2021 through 2022, hitting coach with Rookie level Rocky Mountain in 2019 and hitting coach for the Dominican Summer League's DSL Indians/Brewers co-op team in 2018. He was additionally scheduled to manage the AZL Brewers Gold during the COVID-19 pandemic canceled season in 2020. Stanley has also accumulated numerous years of coaching experience in New Zealand at various levels.
Before joining the Brewers, Stanley played two seasons in the Houston Astros system from 2009 through 2010 with the Rookie level Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League. The Astros originally selected him in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. Carolina’s new skipper played collegiately at Florida Southern in 2009, NC State in 2008 and South Florida State College from 2006 through 2007. Stanley is originally from St. Petersburg, Fla. and attended Seminole High School in Seminole, Fla.
O’Neal, 31, returns for his second season as pitching coach of the Mudcats and his fifth overall season as a coach in the Milwaukee system. He previously worked as a coach with Double-A Biloxi in 2022, a development coach with High-A Wisconsin in 2021 and was originally assigned to Carolina as a development coach ahead of the canceled 2020 season. O'Neal additionally spent the last off-season (2023-24) as the pitching coach of the Australian Baseball League's Brisbane Bandits. The Columbus, Ga. native was also previously an assistant coach at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (2019-2020) and has also worked as a pitching trainer for Driveline Baseball.
O’Neal is a former Mudcats player having pitched for the then-Atlanta Braves affiliated Mudcats during the 2016 season. He later played with Double-A Mississippi that same season (2016) and has additionally pitched in the Frontier League (2014 Florence, 2015 Gateway), American Association (2017 Fargo-Morehead) and Canadian-American Association (2017 Rockland). He pitched collegiately at Auburn in 2013 and 2014. O’Neal attended Pacelli High School in Columbus, Ga.
Turner, 28, enters his first year as hitting coach of the Mudcats. Overall, the Huntsville, AL native is entering his third season as a hitting coach in the Brewers system having spent the 2022 and 2023 season with the DSL Brewers 1 and DSL Brewers Gold respectively.
Before joining the Brewers, Turner was the hitting coach for the Coastal Plain League’s Wilmington Sharks in 2021 and an assistant coach at John A. Logan College (IL) from 2020 through 2022, and Alabama A&M from 2018-2020. Turner played collegiately at Alabama A&M (2014-16). Turner attended Ardmore High School in Ardmore, AL.
Rodríguez, 47, is a returnee to Carolina having previously spent the 2021 season as a coach with the Mudcats. He worked the last two seasons as a coach with both Triple-A Nashville in 2023 and High-A Wisconsin in 2022.
As a player, Rodríguez spent five seasons in the Chicago White Sox farm system before appearing in 39 Major League games with the “South Siders” in 1999. In all, Rodríguez spent seven seasons in the minors including two seasons with Triple-A Charlotte (2000-01), one with Double-A Birmingham (1999), one with High-A Winston Salem (1998), two with Single-A Hickory (1996-97) and one with the GCL White Sox (1995). Rodríguez also played several seasons in the Atlantic League (2006 Newark, 2009 Southern Maryland, 2009-2012 York) and two in the Golden Baseball League (2008-09 St. George). He also played several seasons in the Italian Baseball League (2003 Grosseto, 2004 Rimini, 2013 Godo), Mexican League (2002 Saltillo/Tabasco, 2004 Tijuana, 2005 Cancun) and Venezuelan Winter League (2006-07 Zulia, 2007-08 Zulia/La Guaira, 2008-09 La Guaira) in his professional career.
Alfonsín comes to the Brewers from the Houston Astros organization and is entering his first year with the Mudcats and Milwaukee organization. He previously managed Houston’s Dominican Summer League teams, the DSL Astros and DSL Astros Orange, in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Alfonsín was also the Pitching Coach for Team Argentina in the 2022 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.
Blackburn-Lazalde enters her first season as an athletic trainer with the Mudcats. The 2024 season is her third in the Brewers organization as she spent the last two seasons with Milwaukee’s Dominican Summer League teams, the DSL Brewers 2 in 2022 and DSL Brewers Gold in 2023.
Mergen is in his eighth straight season as strength and conditioning specialist with the Mudcats. The 2024 season is additionally his 14th overall in the Milwaukee organization. A native of McFarland, WI, Mergen has been with the Mudcats since Carolina became an affiliate of the Brewers in 2017.
Victor Estevez, who managed the Mudcats from 2022 through 2023, was assigned by the Brewers to manage High-A Wisconsin for the 2024 season. Estevez earned Carolina League Manager of the Year honors after leading the Mudcats to a first-place finish in the league’s second half and the club’s first postseason appearance since 2008.
Carolina’s 2023 Hitting Coach J.J. Reimer was assigned to Double-A where he will serve in the same role for the Biloxi Shuckers in 2024. Carolina’s 2023 Bullpen Coach Jorge Ortega will move to pitching coach with the DSL Brewers 1 in 2024.
The Mudcats officially open the 2024 season on the road in Roanoke, Va. on Friday, April 5 versus the Salem Red Sox. The first home game of the 2024 season at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. is set for Tuesday, April 9 against the Down East Wood Ducks.
Season ticket packages, mini plans, group options, as well as luxury suite packages and DRB Homes Sky Lounge reservations in the US Foods Club Level are all available now by visiting carolinamudcats.com, by calling (919) 269-2287, and by visiting the Five County Stadium front office in Zebulon.
The Carolina Mudcats are the officially licensed Class-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. First established in 1991, the Mudcats have provided affordable family fun for over 30 years at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. Follow the Mudcats online at www.carolinamudcats.com, and on social media at facebook.com/carolinamudcats, twitter.com/carolinamudcats, tiktok.com/@carolinamudcats and instagram.com/carolinamudcats.