The Philadelphia Phillies have announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2018 season, with Shawn Williams set to return for his second year as manager of the Clearwater Threshers. John Mizerock rejoins the Threshers for his second tenure as hitting coach, Aaron Fultz is back for his third season as Clearwater's pitching coach, and Ruben Gotay will round out the four-man coaching staff in 2018.
Rob Ducey, who served as the Threshers hitting coach the past three seasons, has been promoted to the position of Phillies minor league baserunning and bunting coordinator.
Former Threshers pitcher Matt Hockenberry was named the pitching coach of the new GCL Phillies West, as the Phillies will now field two teams in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. As a right-handed reliever, Hockenberry pitched in 62 games for Clearwater between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The former 9th round draft pick out of Temple University will make his coaching debut after four seasons as a player in the Phillies organization.
In his first year at the helm for Clearwater, Williams led the Threshers to a 67-71 overall record. Clearwater narrowly missed a playoff berth after going 38-32 in the first half, conceding the FSL North to the Tampa Yankees on the final day of first half play by just a half game in the standings.
Williams played professionally from 2006 to 2012, including four seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays system. He began his coaching career with the Williamsport Crosscutters in 2013 and made his managerial debut the following season. In four years, Williams has compiled an overall record of 247-244.
After a stint in Clearwater from 2011-2013, John Mizerock will rejoin the staff as the Threshers hitting coach in 2018. Last year, Mizerock served as the hitting coach for the Reading Fighting Phils. The former catcher has spent seven years in the Phillies organization, and was the assistant hitting coach for the big league club in 2014 and 2015
Fultz begins his third year as Threshers pitching coach, coming off a season in which Threshers hurlers combined to post a 3.16 ERA while setting an all-time Clearwater record for strikeouts, whiffing 1,191 batters in 2017. As a left-handed reliever for the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cleveland Indians from 2000 to 2007, Fultz posted a career ERA of 4.26 before joining Williamsport as a coach in 2012.
Gotay will make his coaching debut for Clearwater this season, bringing 17 years of professional playing experience between affiliated, foreign, and independent ball. The former infielder played four seasons in the Major Leagues for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves between 2004 and 2008, and retired as a player after the 2017 season in which he hit .261 in 69 games for the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks.
Mike Hefta is back for his second year as the Threshers Athletic trainer, and Kenny Matanane will join Clearwater as the strength and conditioning coach. Mike Lidge, who served in that role in 2017, moves up to Reading.
The Clearwater Threshers begin their 15th season at Spectrum Field on April 5 as the Threshers host the Dunedin Blue Jays.