Daytona Beach, FL - The Cincinnati Reds have announced the 2016 coaching staff for their Advanced-A Affiliate, the Daytona Tortugas. Pitching Coach Tom Brown and Hitting Coach Travis "Gookie" Dawkins have joined the staff alongside returning Manager Eli Marrero and Athletic Trainer Kyle Utne. Daytona's 2015 Pitching Coach, Tony Fossas, has been promoted to Cincinnati Reds Pitching Coordinator.
Manager Eli Marrero led the 2015 Tortugas to a 77-58 record, a Florida State League North Division Championship and a Florida State League Championship Series appearance in his first year at the helm of a full-season club. For the second-consecutive season, Marrero will manage the FSL North Division All-Star Team. 2016 will be Marrero's sixth year within the Reds organization. The Havana, Cuba native previously served as the manager of the AZL Reds from 2013-14 and was the hitting coach for Advanced-A Bakersfield in 2012 and short-season Billings in 2011. Selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 1993 draft, Marrero made his MLB debut on September 3, 1997. The catcher/outfielder also played for the Atlanta Braves (2004), Kansas City Royals (2005), Baltimore Orioles (2005), Colorado Rockies (2006) and New York Mets (2006).
Pitching Coach Tom Brown enters his ninth season in the Reds organization after spending the past two years as the pitching coach for players rehabbing in Goodyear, Arizona. He spent the 2007-09 seasons as the pitching coach of Cincinnati's former Advanced-A affiliate, the Bakersfield Blaze. From 2010-13, Brown was the pitching coach of the Reds Double-A affiliates, the Carolina Mudcats and Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Prior to joining the organization, he served as a pitching coach in Triple-A for Albuquerque (2006), Fresno (2005), Portland (2003-2004), Las Vegas (1999) and Oklahoma (1995-98). During his playing days, Brown pitched in the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners systems, appearing in six Major League games with Seattle in 1978. As a member of Northeast Louisiana University's baseball team (now known as Louisiana Monroe) in 1972, he led the nation with an 0.51 ERA and eventually had his number retired.
Hitting Coach Travis "Gookie" Dawkins begins his second year working with the organization that selected him in the second round of the 1997 draft. In 2015, he served as the hitting coach for the Rookie AZL Reds in Goodyear, Arizona. Dawkins spent time playing in the minor league systems of the Reds, Dodgers, Royals, Cubs, Tigers, Pirates, Mariners, Phillies, White Sox and Marlins. He played in parts of four Major League seasons with Cincinnati (1999, 2000, 2002) and Kansas City (2003).
Florida State League Trainer of the Year Kyle Utne returns to Daytona for his second season with the Tortugas and his sixth with Reds the organization. His FSL peers selected him as the top trainer in the league at the end of the 2015 campaign.
The Tortugas begin their second season with a matchup against the Brevard County Manatees on April 7th at 7:05 p.m. at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.