When the Grand Junction Rockies open the 2015 season on June 16 in Idaho Falls there will be many, many new faces on the field, but the men leading those squads will be the same. On Thursday, the Colorado Rockies announced their 2015 minor league coaching staffs, and Grand Junction's is the only affiliate without a change.
Tony Diaz returns for his third season as the team's developmental supervisor. 2015 will be his 16th as a member of the Rockies organization, with the last 15 coming in the Pioneer League. After spending eight seasons as the Rockies rookie club hitting coach, Diaz was the club's rookie affiliate manager from 2008-2012. He was named Colorado's Development Man of the Year in 2002.
After leading the Rockies to a Pioneer League best 43-33 record in 2014, Anthony Sanders returns for his third season as Rockies manager. Last season's Pioneer League Manager of the Year guided the Rockies to a South Division first half championship in 2013 after spending six season as the Tri City Dust Devils hitting coach. The Tucson won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and played in the Majors for three seasons.
Ryan Kibler will lead the Rockies pitchers for a fourth season. Under the former second round pick, Rockies pitching walked the fewest hitters in the Pioneer League, and were the first staff with less than 200 walks since 2009. In his three year coaching career, Kibler has tutored first round picks Eddie Butler, Jon Gray, and Kyle Freeland.
Lee Stevens will be back for his third season as the Rockies hitting coach. In 2014, Grand Junction led the Pioneer League in batting average, runs scored, and walks. In 10 Major League seasons with the Angels, Rangers, Expos and Indians, Stevens hit 144 home runs.
Colorado native John Duff returns for a third season as Athletic Trainer.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.