The Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced Jared Sandberg as the new manager of the Triple-A club. Sandberg takes over for Charlie Montoyo, who was promoted to third base coach of the Rays in mid-December. Fans will be able to interact with the club's new manager in a Twitter Q&A session on Friday, January 23rd at 1:00 p.m. by directing questions to @DurhamBulls using the tag #AskSandberg.
Sandberg, the nephew of Hall of Famer and current Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, takes the helm of the Bulls after spending the last seven seasons as a coach or manager at four different levels in the Rays' minor league system. Prior to his time in a managing or coaching capacity, the Washington state native enjoyed a 12-year playing career, including nine seasons in the Tampa Bay organization from 1996-2004. Parts of five of those seasons (2000-2004) came as a member of the Durham Bulls.
"It was a big honor to promote Charlie to our Major League staff, and it's an equally big honor to name Jared manager of the Durham Bulls," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said. "Jared's promotion is well-deserved, and we know he shares our excitement in him joining the most storied franchise in Minor League Baseball."
The 2014 campaign was Sandberg's first as skipper of the Advanced-A Charlotte Stone Crabs, leading the team to a 63-70 finish. The year prior, his first year as manager of the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods, he led the squad to a franchise-record 82-56 mark, the seventh-best record among all full season Minor League teams.
From 2010-2012 he led the Short-Season Class A Hudson Valley Renegades to a combined 128-99 clip, while leading the team to its second New York-Penn League title in 2012. That season the Renegades went a league-best 52-24, earning Sandberg Baseball America's Short-Season Manager of the Year award. 2009 marked his managing debut, heading the Rookie-level Princeton Rays after his first and only year as a coach in 2008 with Hudson Valley.
Over his six-year managerial career, Sandberg has accumulated a career record of 309-256 (.547), while advancing to the postseason on two occasions.
"We are thrilled to start working with Jared," Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said. "It's great to have him back in a Bulls uniform after his playing days here in Durham, and we know he's going to do a fantastic job of carrying on the proud tradition of Bulls managers."
Selected by Tampa Bay in the 16th round of the 1996 draft out of Capital High School (Olympia, WA), Sandberg reached the Triple-A level for the first time in 2000 at the age of 22. In all, he would spend parts of five seasons (2000-04) with the Bulls, amassing career totals of .240-53-182 in a Durham uniform. He spent parts of three seasons at the Major League level (2001-03), hitting .221-25-92 over 196 games with the Devil Rays.
He spent the 2005 season in the Boston Red Sox system, before splitting 2006 between the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians Double-A affiliates, and the independent Somerset Patriots. His final season came in 2007 when he appeared in 18 games for Double-A Wichita in the Kansas City Royals system.
Sandberg becomes just the fourth Durham manager in the franchise's 18-year Triple-A history, following in the footsteps of International League Hall of Famer Bill Evers (1998-2005), John Tamargo (2006) and Montoyo (2007-2014), the franchise's all-time wins leader with 633.
Joining Sandberg on the coaching staff is first-year pitching coach Kyle Snyder, who was selected out of the University of North Carolina in the first round of the 1999 draft. The two were part of the same coaching staff in 2012 in Hudson Valley and 2013 in Bowling Green, when the teams amassed a combined 134-80 clip.
Returning for his seventh season with the ball club is hitting coach Dave Myers. The Temple University alumnus spent 26 years in the Seattle Mariners system, including 12 as a minor league manager. He was the Mariners' third base coach from 2001-04.
Athletic Trainer Mike Sandoval rejoins the Bulls for his fourth season in 2015. Before his time in the Rays system, he spent 25 seasons within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, including 10 seasons as assistant athletic trainer at the major league level.
Bryan King, who spent his first season with the Bulls last year, returns as Strength and Conditioning coach. Prior to joining the Tampa Bay system in 2014, he spent the previous five seasons in the same position with the Toronto Blue Jays at the Major League level.