After one of the greatest two-year runs in franchise history, the 2018 Eugene Emeralds' Coaching and Field Staff has been announced, with first-year Manager Steve Lerud appointed to lead the team at PK Park this upcoming summer. Joining Lerud will be Pitching Coach Armando Gabino, Hitting Coaches Osmin Melendez and Jacob Rogers, Trainer Sean Folan, and Strength & Conditioning Coach Dallas Lopez. Lopez is the only returning field staff member from the 2017 season.
"The Chicago Cubs are a tremendous organization to be affiliated with, not just from a major league standpoint, but also in everything they do behind the scenes in player development," said Allan Benavides, General Manager of the club. "We are incredibly excited for Steve Lerud and the rest of the staff to get to Eugene and continue the great tradition and success of the past few seasons. We certainly have unfinished business from 2017."
This will be Steve Lerud's first season as a professional manager, having previously spent 13 years as a player in both the minors and majors from 2004-2016. Across almost 3000 minor league at-bats, Lerud hit .224 lifetime after being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2010 and 2011, Lerud enjoyed a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, playing in 9 games and recording 2 hits.
Armando Gabino will be in his fourth year as a pitching coach in the Cubs' organization, his first in Eugene, after spending last season in Mesa with the AZL Cubs. His coaching career follows an 11-season professional playing career, including two stints in the majors with Minnesota in 2009 and Baltimore in 2010, making 7 appearances.
Osmin Melendez will be in his sixth year in the organization, previously serving as the hitting coach in Mesa. Jacob Rogers will be making his coaching debut, having pitched 9 innings for the Spokane Indians last season, originally drafted in the 40th round by the Cubs in 2012.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.