JACKSON, TN - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Wednesday that Blake Lalli will return for his second season as the Jackson Generals Manager in 2020. Pitching Coach Doug Drabek, Hitting Coach Rick Short, and Bench Coach Jorge Cortes all return to Lalli's staff in their same roles from the 2019
JACKSON, TN - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Wednesday that Blake Lalli will return for his second season as the Jackson Generals Manager in 2020. Pitching Coach Doug Drabek, Hitting Coach Rick Short, and Bench Coach Jorge Cortes all return to Lalli's staff in their same roles from the 2019 season. Head Athletic Trainer Joe Rosauer also returns to Jackson in 2020 along with home Clubhouse Manager Dustin Hann. Derek Clovis joins the Generals for his first season as Strength and Conditioning Coach and Chris Rodriguez will serve as the Video Coordinator.
"We are thrilled with the return of last years coaching staff," said Generals GM Marcus Sabata. "Their proven track record and experience are incredible assets to the club as the Generals look to defend our Southern League Title in 2020."
Lalli, 36, returns to Jackson after leading the Generals to a 78-57 regular-season record and Southern League Championship in 2019. The Southern League title was the club's second straight and third over the last four years. Under his watch, the Generals won 39 games in both halves of the regular season with second place finishes in the North Division, earning a postseason wild card berth. The club garnered seven Midseason All-Stars, three Postseason All Stars, and tallied the third most wins in the Southern League. This will be Blake's third season as a Minor League manager after concluding his playing career in 2017 and serving as the manager of the Kane County Cougars in the Midwest League during the 2018 season. Prior to his coaching tenure in the Southern League, Lalli was a three-time Southern League Midseason All-Star with the Tennessee Smokies (2009, 2010, 2011).
Drabek, 57, will oversee the Generals pitching staff for a fourth straight season as the longest tenured member of the coaching staff. Under his direction in 2019, Generals pitching allowed the second fewest total runs (490), surrendered the fewest home runs, and propelled to the second best overall run differential (+120) in the league. In 2018, Drabek coached the pitching staff to a franchise record 1,300 strikeouts while also leading the league in WHIP (1.25) and holds (58). The Texas native was the 1990 National League Cy Young Award winner with Pittsburgh and was named a National League All-Star with the Houston Astros in 1994.
Short, 47, is aboard for his second season with the Generals and third under Lalli after serving has hitting coach with the Kane County Cougars in 2018. Under Short's mentorship in 2019, Jackson clubbed the most home runs (128) in the Southern League and secured the third overall OPS (.713). Short began his time within Diamondbacks player development in 2010, serving as an area scout through 2017. The former pro ballplayer batted .319 across 1,163 career MiLB games with six different organizations (Baltimore, Chicago Cubs, Anaheim, Montreal, Kansas City, Washington).
Coach Jorge Cortés rejoins the Generals for his second season and fifth in the Diamondbacks system. The 39-year-old worked alongside Lalli and Short as a coach with Kane County in 2018 and spent time with the Hillsboro Hops in 2017. Cortés, a former Minor Leaguer who played 16 professional seasons internationally and in the U.S., lives in Clearwater, Florida.
The Generals begin the 2020 season with a five-game road series against the Chattanooga Lookouts, April 9-13, and return home for the home opener at The Ballpark on April 15, hosting the Birmingham Barons.
ABOUT THE GENERALS
The Jackson Generals, a West Tennessee franchise since 1998, are the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Generals play at The Ballpark at Jackson, Tennessee's 2017 & 2018 Pro Sports Field of the Year. Next June, The Ballpark at Jackson will host the 2020 Southern League All-Star Game. For more information, to book your group, or purchase 2020 season tickets, call 731-988-5299 or visit JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com.