The Norfolk Tides and their parent club, the Baltimore Orioles, today announced Norfolk's field staff for the 2016 season. Ron Johnson will return as Manager, Mike Griffin will serve as Pitching Coach, Sean Berry will be the club's Hitting Coach and Jose Hernandez will return as a Field Coach. Mark Shires will return as the team's Athletic Trainer, while Trevor Howell will be the club's Strength and Conditioning Coach.
"We are very fortunate to have Ron Johnson managing our team again this season" said Tides General Manager Joe Gregory. "Ron guided our team to the playoffs last year, and he does a fantastic job of preparing our players to not only succeed at Triple-A, but at the major league level as well."
Ron Johnson, 59, is entering his fifth year as Norfolk's manager, over which he has posted a 294-282 record (.510 winning %). He led the Tides to a 78-66 record and a division title in 2015 while being named the International League's Manager of the Year. Johnson also received the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award from the Orioles in 2015, an award presented to a minor league staff member who exemplifies the qualities of the late Oriole who is regarded as the architect of "The Oriole Way." Johnson's 294 managerial victories with Norfolk are the most in franchise history.
Through his first four years with Norfolk, Johnson has posted three winning campaigns (2012, 2013 and 2015) while upping his career managerial record over 22 seasons to 1,555-1,544. Johnson was named by Baseball America as the Best Manager Prospect in the International League in 2014 and became the first Tides manager to lead the club to consecutive winnings seasons (2012-13) since Steve Swisher accomplished the feat in 1990 and 1991. A product of Fresno State University, Johnson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1978 and played in 22 Major League games over parts of three seasons with the Royals (1982-83) and Expos (1984).
Mike Griffin, 58, is entering his eighth season as Norfolk's pitching coach and his ninth season in the Orioles organization. Griffin led the Tides pitching staff to a 3.17 ERA in 2015, Norfolk's lowest team ERA since the club posted a 3.01 ERA during the 1995 campaign. He's twice been presented with the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award (in 2009 and 2010), and he's previously spent time as a coach in the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds organizations. As a player, Griffin appeared in 67 major league games over parts of five seasons with five different organizations, including 23 games for the Orioles in 1987.
Sean Berry, 49, is entering his second season as Norfolk's hitting coach, after spending the previous four seasons as the minor league hitting coordinator for the San Diego Padres. Berry served as the Houston Astros hitting coach from 2006-10 after spending three seasons in Houston's minor league system. He appeared in 860 major league games over 11 seasons with the Royals, Expos, Astros, Brewers and Red Sox, posting a career .272 average with 81 home runs.
Jose Hernandez, 46, is entering his fourth season as a coach with Norfolk and his seventh in the Orioles system. Hernandez, who also serves as Norfolk's third base coach during the season, played 1,587 major league games over a 15-year career from 1991-2006, playing with nine different teams. He was a National League All-Star with Milwaukee in 2002 and he belted 168 home runs over his career, the 17th-most by a player born in Puerto Rico.
Mark Shires, 39, will be in his 10th season as the Athletic Trainer for the Tides and his 18th with the Orioles system. Shires has twice been named the International League Athletic Trainer of the Year (2009 & 2011), and he represented the Tides and the IL during the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game. Prior to his time in Norfolk, Shires was named the Carolina League's Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2001 and 2003.
Trevor Howell, 29, is in his third year as the Strength and Conditioning Coach in Norfolk, and his fifth within the Orioles system. He graduated from Sonoma St. University before obtaining his Masters at Fresno Pacific University. Prior to joining the Orioles system, Howell played baseball and served as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in the German Professional League.