LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Aviators® professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics & 2019 Pacific Southern Division Champions, announced today, in conjunction with the A's Communications Department, that 2019 PCL Manager of the Year Fran Riordan will return for his third season as manager for the A's Triple-A affiliate for the 2020 season and his second season with the Aviators. Riordan is the 25th manager in the history of the Las Vegas franchise (1983 - 2019, 37 seasons). Riordan served as manager for the A's Triple-A affiliate in Nashville during the 2018 campaign.
The Aviators coaching staff was also announced as Rick Rodriguez will return as pitching coach; Todd Steverson named hitting coach and Hiram Bocachica named coach. Brad LaRosa, 2019 PCL Athletic Trainer of the Year, will return to the staff; Justin Whitehouse was named assistant athletic trainer and Matt Rutledge named strength & conditioning coach.
Riordan (pronounced REAR-den), 44, has compiled 19 seasons overall in professional baseball and has been a member of the Oakland Athletics organization for the past five seasons (2015-19).
He has compiled an overall managerial record over 19 seasons of 1,024-982 (.510). In 2019, he led Triple-A Las Vegas to the second-best record in the 16-team PCL (83-57, .593) and the Aviators captured the Pacific Southern Division Championship. Las Vegas returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and lost to Sacramento, 3-games-to-2, in the conference championship series. The 83-57 record marked a single-season franchise record for winning percentage at .593 (140-game season).
In 2018, he made his Triple-A debut as manager with the Nashville Sounds and compiled an overall record of 72-68 (.514) and finished in second place in the American Southern Division to the PCL and Triple-A National Champion, the Memphis Redbirds. Nashville compiled a PCL-best 15-game winning streak from July 29 - August 14.
In 2017, he compiled a record of 67-71 (.486) with Double-A Midland and his squad captured the Texas League Championship. The prior two seasons, he was the skipper of Single-A Beloit of the Midwest League.
Before joining the Oakland organization, Riordan spent four seasons as manager of the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League (2011-14). He led the team to two playoff berths and is the all-time Frontier League leader in wins with 625. He was a 2014 Frontier League Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to his time with Florence, he managed the Northern League's Lake County Fielders (2010) and Kalamazoo Kings for six seasons (2004-09), leading the Kings to the 2005 Frontier League title. He also served as player-manager in the Frontier League from 2000-02, leading the Richmond Roosters to back-to-back-league championships in 2001 and 2002.
"It was a magical year in 2019 with the opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark and the success we achieved on the field," Aviators Manager Fran Riordan said. "The atmosphere, energy and enthusiasm that the fans brought to this outstanding ballpark every night was a fantastic experience for not only our players but for our coaching staff. We thank the fans for their support.
"We are looking forward to fielding another contending team in 2020 and to have a successful season in our second campaign as the A's top affiliate in Las Vegas. We will mix and match with minor league free agents to go along with the returning players from 2019."
The Virginia Beach native played seven seasons of professional baseball as a first baseman/outfielder (1997-2003) after playing college baseball at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.
FRAN RIORDAN'S MANAGERIAL RECORD
YEAR CLUB LEAGUE W L PCT. FINISH
2000 Dubois County Frontier (Ind.) 35 47 .427 5th
2001 Richmond Frontier (Ind.) 49 35 .583 2nd - League Champions
2002 Richmond Frontier (Ind.) 53 31 .631 2nd - League Champions
2004 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 51 45 .531 3rd
2005 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 53 43 .552 1st - League Champions
2006 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 47 49 .490 4th
2007 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 51 45 .531 3rd
2008 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 60 36 .625 1st - Lost League Finals
2009 Kalamazoo Frontier (Ind.) 58 38 .604 1st - Lost League Semifinals
2010 Lake County Northern (Ind.) 41 59 .410 7th
2011 Florence Frontier (Ind.) 39 57 .406 6th
2012 Florence Frontier (Ind.) 57 39 .594 2nd - Lost League Finals
2013 Florence Frontier (Ind.) 53 43 .552 3rd - Lost League Semifinals
2014 Florence Frontier (Ind.) 41 55 .427 5th
2015 Beloit Midwest (A) 55 84 .396 7th/5th
2016 Beloit Midwest (A) 59 80 .424 6th/8th
2017 Midland Texas (AA) 67 71 .486 2nd/3rd - League Champions
2018 Nashville (AAA) Pacific Coast 72 68 .514 2nd
2019 Las Vegas (AAA) Pacific Coast 83 57 .593 1st - Lost League Semifinals
TOTALS Managerial Record (19 years) 1,024 982 .510
Las Vegas Franchise All-Time Managers List (1983-2019):
1983 Harry Dunlop (83-60, .580)
1984-85 Bob Cluck (136-144, .486)
1986 Larry Bowa (80-62, .563, PCL Champions)
1987 Jack Krol (69-73, .486)
1988-89 Steve Smith (148-135, .523, '88 PCL Champions)
1990 Pat Kelly (58-86, .403)
1991-92 Jim Riggleman (139-145, .489)
1993-94 Russ Nixon (114-172, .399)
1995 Tim Flannery (61-83, .424)
1996-98, 2005-06 Jerry Royster (323-387, .455)
1999 Mike Ramsey (67-75, .472)
2000 Duane Espy (30-20, .600)
2000 Tony Franklin (43-50, .462)
2001 Rick Sofield (68-76, .472)
2002 Brad Mills (85-59, .590, PCL Manager of the Year)
2003 John Shoemaker (76-66, .535)
2004 Terry Kennedy (67-76, .469)
2007-08 Lorenzo Bundy (141-146, .491)
2009 Mike Basso (71-73, .493)
2010 Dan Rohn (66-78, .458)
2011-12 Marty Brown (150-137, .523)
2013-16 Wally Backman (309-267, .536) - 2014 PCL Manager of the Year
2017 Pedro Lopez (56-86, .394)
2018 Tony DeFrancesco (71-69, .507)
2019 Fran Riordan (83-57, .593, PCL Manager of the Year)
Las Vegas Triple-A Affiliation History:
San Diego Padres, 18 seasons (1983-2000), 1,227-1,329 (.480), 7 playoff appearances
Los Angeles Dodgers, 8 seasons (2001-08), 561-586 (.489), 1 playoff appearance
Toronto Blue Jays, 4 seasons (2009-2012), 287-288 (.499), 0 playoff appearances
New York Mets, 6 seasons (2013-18), 436-422 (.508), 2 playoff appearances
Oakland Athletics, 1 season (2019), 83-57 (.593), 1 playoff appearance
ALL-TIME RECORD: 2,594-2,682 (.492)
The Las Vegas Stars/51s/Aviators have captured the PCL Championship twice (1986 & 1988) and appeared in the playoffs 11 times (21-32 record, .396).
Rick Rodriguez has enjoyed a long-time professional baseball career and will enter his 36th year in the Oakland Athletics organization (in 2020), including seven seasons as a player and 27 as a minor league coach. In 2020, he will also enter his fifth straight season as pitching coach for the A's Triple-A affiliate (Nashville, 2016-18; Las Vegas, 2019).
It also marked his fourth stint as pitching coach of the A's top affiliate after previously serving in that capacity from 2000-02, 2004-10 and 2013-14 (Triple-A Sacramento's pitching coach in 12 of the previous 20 seasons, 2000-19). He was a member of two Pacific Coast League championship teams in 2004 and 2007. He also served as pitching coach for Single-A Stockton of the California League in 2015, as the A's bullpen coach from 2011-12 and as the manager of Single-A Modesto in 2003. Prior to becoming pitching coach for Sacramento in 2000, he coached for rookie-level Arizona League A's (1992), Short-Season Southern Oregon (1993-94) and Single-A Modesto (1995-99).
Rodriguez was selected by Oakland in the second round of the June 1981 First-Year Player Draft. He played four seasons in the Major Leagues with Oakland (1986-87), Cleveland (1988) and San Francisco (1990). The right-hander appeared in 31 career games (started eight) and posted a 3-4 record with a 5.73 ERA. He struck out 22 batters in 77.0 innings pitched.
His playing career concluded in 1991 when he made three appearance for Triple-A Phoenix in the Giants organization.
An East Bay, California native, Rodriguez was born in Oakland and graduated from Castro Valley High School in 1978. He attended Chabot Junior College in Hayward and the University of California, Riverside and was named to the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Todd Steverson joins the Triple-A Las Vegas staff after serving as hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox for the last six seasons (2014-19). He has an extensive coaching career that spans 21 years. He returns to the Oakland Athletics where he spent nine seasons in the organization: manager of Single-A Stockton of the California League (2005-06), manager of Double-A Midland of the Texas League (2007) and manager of Triple-A Sacramento (83-61 record, .576 in 2008) and were PCL & Triple-A champions, A's first base coach (2009-10), hitting coach for Triple-A Sacramento (2011), minor league hitting instructor (2012-13). He compiled a four-year managerial record (2005-08) of 297-264 (.529).
He also spent five seasons in the St. Louis organization and served as hitting coach with Single-A Potomac (1999, 2001-02), Single-A Peoria (2000) and Single-A Palm Beach (2003).
Steverson was selected by Toronto in the first round (25th overall) of the June 1992 First-Year Player Draft. He played professionally for seven seasons (1992-98) which included two Major League seasons with Detroit (1995) and San Diego (1996) and appeared in 31 career ML games and batted .256 (11-for-43) with two home runs and 6 RBI. He was a member of the 1996 Triple-A Las Vegas Stars and appeared in 100 games and batted .239 (72-for-301) with 16 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBI.
He played college baseball at Arizona State University from 1990-92 and is the cousin of former American League All-Star outfielder Ron LeFlore, who played for the White Sox in 1981-82. He is a 1989 graduate of Culver City (Calif.) High School.
Hiram Bocachica joins the Triple-A Las Vegas staff as coach after spending the 2019 season as manager of the Arizona A's Gold rookie-level team (31-25 record, .554). He previously served as a traveling instructor for the Oakland Athletics in 2018. Prior to joining the A's organization, he served as hitting and third base coach for Santurce Crabbers of the Professional Baseball Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico in 2017.
Bocachica was selected in the first round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft by the Montreal Expos. He signed as a free agent on November 22, 2004 by the Oakland Athletics and played a total of eight seasons in the Major Leagues with Los Angeles Dodgers (2000-02), Detroit (2002-03), Seattle (2004), A's (2005-07) and San Diego (2007).
The outfielder/infielder appeared in 272 career games and batted .215 (115-for-535) with 28 doubles, 15 home runs, 37 RBI and 16 stolen bases. After retirement in 2012, he started working as a player agent until 2016 when he started working with the MLB Development Program in Puerto Rico.
Brad LaRosa, PCL Three-Time Athletic Trainer of the Year (2012, 2016, 2019), will enter his 13th season as athletic trainer for the A's top minor league affiliate. He previously spent five seasons as an athletic trainer at the Double-A level (three years with the St. Louis Cardinals organization from 2005-07, two years with the Florida Marlins from 2003-04).
He was named Texas League Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2006 and 2007, while taking home PBATS Minor League Athletic Trainer of the year in 2007. He also worked the Futures Game in 2008.
He is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and the Illinois Athletics Trainers Association. He is licensed in Illinois and Missouri. LaRosa obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Justin Whitehouse will enter his 20th season in the Oakland Athletics organization and his first campaign with Triple-A Las Vegas. He served as athletic trainer for the past 12 seasons (2008-19) with Double-A Midland of the Texas League. He spent five seasons with Single-A Kane County (2003-07) and two years with Single-A Visalia (2001-02). He was named Midwest League Athletic Trainer of the year in 2007.
Whitehouse earned his degree in health education at the University of Nevada and received his master's in physical education, with an emphasis in athletic training and biomechanics, at San Diego State. He interned with the San Francisco 49ers during spring and summer training camps in 1997 and 1998.
Matt Rutledge will enter his sixth season in the Oakland Athletics organization and his first season with Triple-A Las Vegas as strength and conditioning coach. He spent the previous two seasons (2018-19) as the A's minor league assistant strength and conditioning coordinator.
Rutledge earned a B.S. in Community Health Sciences from the University of Nevada in 2013 and is a native of Carson City, Nevada.
The Aviators will open their 38th campaign in the Silver State in both the season and home opener on Thursday, April 9 against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, at Las Vegas Ballpark®.
The Aviators led all 2019 minor league baseball in attendance with a total of 650,934 for an average of 9,299 in 70 dates which included 47 sellouts.
Las Vegas Ballpark was named winner of the 2019 MiLB Triple-A Best of the Ballparks Fan Vote; winner of BaseballParks.com 20th Annual Ballpark of the Year Award; honored as Ballpark of the Year and Aviators Team of the Year by Ballpark Digest.
2020 full season, half season and quarter season tickets are on sale and the phone number is (702) 939-7200.
Official licensed Aviators team merchandise is available on the "Team Shop" section of the website and the Aviators Team Store is located at Las Vegas Ballpark, 1650 S. Pavilion Center Drive.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.