MIDLAND, Mich. - Jeremy Rodriguez will serve as the Great Lakes Loons manager during the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced today. He will be the eighth manager since the team's inception and the fifth manager in five seasons for the Loons.
Returning after helping guide the Loons to their first Midwest League Championship in 2016 will be fourth coach Fumimasa Ishibashi, who will be in his 10th overall season with the Dodger organization. Beginning his first full season as the hitting coach in Great Lakes and third with the Dodgers will be Aaron Bates, joined by first-year pitching coach Connor McGuiness.
Rodriguez, 27, spent the last two seasons as the San Diego Padres' Dominican Summer League manager. The Southern California native played in parts of five minor league seasons (2011-15) in the San Diego organization. The former catcher was selected by the Padres in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of California State University, Bakersfield.
New to the Dodger organization, McGuiness joins the Loons following stints as the pitching coach at Emory University (2013-15), where he played college baseball, and The Catholic University of America (2016). During McGuiness' tenure at Emory, the Eagles went to back-to-back NCAA DIII College World Series, finishing as the national runner-up in 2014.
In 2016 under the guidance of manager Gil Velazquez, the Loons made a historic late-season run qualifying for the Midwest League playoffs for the fifth time in franchise history (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015). Upon making the postseason, the Loons had memorable series wins against the Bowling Green Hot Rods and West Michigan Whitecaps, both with clinching road wins. In the best-of-five championship series, the Loons took three of the first four against the Clinton LumberKings to bring the first-ever league title to Midland.
The Dodgers also announced the other managers for their minor league affiliates today: Bill Haselman at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Ryan Garko at Double-A Tulsa, Drew Saylor at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Mark Kertenian at Rookie-advanced Ogden and John Shoemaker with the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers. Haselman held the role of manager for the Loons during the 2014 season, while John Shoemaker had a two-year stint in Midland from 2011-12.
The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.