Rangers announce 2018 Minor League coaching staffs

RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik returns for his fourth season in Frisco

December 7, 2017 1:52 PM

ARLINGTON, Texas (Dec. 7, 2017) - The Texas Rangers today announced the managers, coaches, and staff for all minor league affiliates in 2018. Texas affiliates combined for three division titles and one league championship in 2017.

Former major league infielder Spike Owen has been elevated to manager at High-A Down East as he enters his third season as a skipper in the Texas farm system. He managed the club's High-A affiliate in 2015, leading High Desert to a second half division title and the California League semifinals. Matt Hagen will manage Hickory after his debut season as a manager with Spokane last year. Hagen led the Indians to the postseason in his only season at the helm. Kenny Holmberg returns to a managerial role in 2018, taking over for Hagen at Spokane. Holmberg previously managed the DSL Rangers in 2011 and the AZL Rangers from 2013-15. In addition to managing in Spokane, Holmberg will retain his responsibilities as the organization's infield coordinator.

Several Texas coaches will be with new affiliates in 2018. The Round Rock staff will feature a pair of new coaches in pitching coach Brian Shouse and hitting coach Howard Johnson. Shouse spent last season at Frisco, while Johnson led Down East to a Carolina League co-Championship as a manager. Johnson has been a major league hitting coach with Seattle (2013-15) and the New York Mets (2008-10).

In addition to Johnson, there will be new hitting coaches at several affiliates, as Kenny Hook (Down East), Chase Lambin (Hickory), Jared Goedert (Spokane), and Jeremy Moore (AZL Rangers) will all have new assignments. Greg Hibbard (Frisco) and Jono Armold (Spokane) will serve as pitching coaches with new clubs in 2018.

The organization's entire group of roving instructors return in 2018.

The lone new hire in the organization is Chris Egelston as a pitching coach with the AZL Rangers. Egelston previously operated his Triple Play Baseball Academy in Blue Springs, Missouri and joined the organization during the 2017 campaign.

A look at the 2018 staff (changes from 2017 underlined in italics; new hires denoted by*):

Round Rock (AAA)                                         Frisco (AA)                                                      Down East (High-A)

Manager              Jason Wood                       Manager              Joe Mikulik                        Manager             Spike Owen

Pitching               Brian Shouse                      Pitching               Greg Hibbard                     Pitching               Steve Mintz

Hitting                 Howard Johnson                 Hitting                 Jason Hart                         Hitting                  Kenny Hook

Coach                   Geno Petralli                     Trainer                  Jacob Newburn                 Coach                   Carlos Maldonado

Trainer                 Carlos Olivas                      Strength               Wade Lamont                   Trainer                 Alex Rodriguez

Strength              Eric McMahon                                                                                              Strength               Al Sandoval


Hickory (Low-A)                                             Spokane (Short-A)                                         Arizona (Rookie)

Manager              Matt Hagen                       Manager              Kenny Holmberg               Manager              Matt Siegel

Pitching               Jose Jaimes                        Pitching               Jono Armold                       Pitching               Henderson Lugo

Hitting                 Chase Lambin                     Hitting                 Jared Goedert                    Pitching               Chris Egelston*

Coach                   Turtle Thomas                    Trainer                 Bronson Santillan             Hitting                Salomon Manriquez

Trainer                 Luke Teeters                      Strength                Ed Yong                              Hitting                 Jeremy Moore

Strength              Adam Noel                                                                                                    Coach                  Guilder Rodriguez

Strength              Chandler Geller


Dominican (Rookie)                                                     Roving Instructors

Manager              Carlos Cardoza                                 Field Coordinator                                          Corey Ragsdale

Pitching               Jesus Delgado                                  Pitching Coordinator                                     Danny Clark

Pitching               Pablo Blanco                                    Hitting Coordinator                                       Josue Perez

Hitting                 Chad Comer                                     Catching Coordinator                                    Chris Briones

Coach                   Alexis Infante                                   Base Running Coordinator                           Damon Mashore

Coach                   Chu Ovalle                                        Asst. Hitting/Outfield Coordinator             Dwayne Murphy

Coach                   Roberto De La Rosa                         Asst. Pitching Coordinator                            Jeff Andrews

Coach                   Luis Encarnacion                             Infield Coordinator                                          Kenny Holmberg

Strength               Eduardo Thomas                             Director, Peak Performance                          Josiah Igono

Medical Coordinator                                     Jason Roberts

Rehab Coordinator                                        Sean Fields

Asst. Medical and Rehab Coord.                Chris Olson

Strength and Conditioning Coord.             Napoleon Pichardo

Asst. Strength and Conditiong Coord.       Eric McMahon

Rehab Strength and Cond. Coord.              Ric Mabie

Rehab Pitching Coordinator                         Keith Comstock

Special Assistant, Pitching                            Mark Connor


Arizona Complex Operations                                                                                                        

Coordinator, Arizona Operations                 Stosh Hoover

Minor League Equipment Manager             Chris Ackerman


The organization's roving instructor staff remains completely intact from 2017. Corey Ragsdale will lead the group in his third season as Field Coordinator. Danny Clark begins his 13th season in the Texas system and 10th as the organization's pitching coordinator. Josue Perez will be in his fourth season in the role of hitting coordinator.

Former major league infielder Jason Wood returns for a fourth season at the helm of the Express and ninth season overall in the organization. Newcomers Howard Johnson and Brian Shouse join Wood in Round Rock this season, while former Texas backstop Geno Petralli will be on the staff for a fourth straight season. Carlos Olivas (athletic trainer) and Eric McMahon (strength and conditioning) both return. McMahon will continue with additional responsibilities as the organization's assistant strength and conditioning coordinator.

Joe Mikulik returns to Frisco for his fourth season, his 20th season overall as a minor league manager. Former Ranger Jason Hart enters his seventh season as the Frisco hitting coach and Greg Hibbard joins the staff after two seasons at Round Rock. Jacob Newburn begins his third season as Frisco's athletic trainer and Wade Lamont will be the strength and conditioning coach for a second straight year. Mitch Brasher returns for this second season as clubhouse manager.

Owen's staff at Down East will feature Steve Mintz (pitching), Kenny Hook (hitting), and Carlos Maldonado (coach). Mintz is the only holdover from the 2017 staff, as Hook spent last season at Hickory and Maldonado was a player/coach at Frisco. Alex Rodriguez (athletic trainer) and Al Sandoval (strength and conditioning) round out the staff.

Hagen will be joined in Hickory by Jose Jaimes (pitching), Chase Lambin (hitting), and Turtle Thomas (coach). Lambin and Thomas were both apart of Hagen's staff in Spokane last season and Jaimes enters his third season with the Crawdads. Athletic trainer Luke Teeters also moves to Hickory in 2018 and Adam Noel will be in second season as the team's strength and conditioning coach.

Holmberg's staff will feature nearly all newcomers to the Spokane club. In addition to Holmberg, Jono Armold (pitching) will move to Spokane after spending last season with the AZL Rangers. Hitting coach Jared Goedert will have a new role on the staff following one season as the team's fourth coach. Athletic trainer Bronson Santillan will also be in his first season at Spokane. Strength and conditioning coach Ed Yong returns for his 10th season with the Indians.

Matt Siegel will manage the Arizona League Rangers for a third straight season. Henderson Lugo and Egelston will serve as pitching coaches. Salomon Manriquez returns as a hitting coach, while Jeremy Moore joins the staff after one season as a coach for Down East. Former Ranger Guilder Rodriguez will be a member of the AZL Rangers staff for a second straight year. Chandler Geller returns for his second season as the club's strength and conditioning coach.

Carlos Cardoza will manage the Dominican Summer League Rangers for a third straight season. Jesus Delgado and Pablo Blanco both return to the staff as pitching coaches, while Chad Comer, Alexis Infante, Chu Ovalle, Roberto De La Rosa, and Luis Encarnacion also return. Eduardo Thomas will be the team's strength and conditioning coach for an 11th season.

About the RoughRiders

The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 13 seasons (2005-2017). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg. The new ownership group, together with the city of Frisco, has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements over the past three seasons, investing nearly $8 million in a wide array of facility upgrades and improvements, including a new state-of-the-art HD video board, sound system, Bull Moose Saloon, InTouch Grille, Riders Outpost Team Store and the newest and biggest creation, the 174-foot Choctaw Lazy River. The upgrades made prior to the 2015 season earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest. The same publication also honored the Choctaw Lazy River as the best ballpark improvement over $1 million for the 2016 season. More than 140 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, as well as current Rangers stars Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Art Garcia at AGarcia@RidersBaseball.com or Ryan Rouillard at RRouillard@RidersBaseball.com.

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