WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics on Tuesday named Darren Bush as the fourth manager in Sacramento River Cats' history.
Bush, who steered Midland to the 2009 Texas League Championship during his two seasons with the Double-A RockHounds, has been promoted to River Cats manager. Joining Bush in the Capitol City will be pitching coach Scott Emerson and hitting coach Todd Steverson. Emerson served in the same capacity for Midland the past four seasons, while Steverson returns to Sacramento after two years as first-base coach on Bob Geren's Major League staff.
Brad LaRosa remains the River Cats' head trainer in 2011.
The River Cats will hold a news conference on Dec. 9 with Bush, prior to the start of the organization's seventh annual Winter Wonderland, a holiday event at Raley Field for families in need.
Bush, 36, replaces Tony DeFrancesco, who led the River Cats to three Pacific Coast League championships and six division titles in his seven years with the team. In 2011, DeFrancesco will manage the Oklahoma City Redhawks, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, who face the River Cats in Sacramento from May 19-22.
Former River Cats pitching coach Rick Rodriguez will serve as the A's bullpen coach in 2011, while former Cats hitting coach Brian McArn will serve in the same role with the Stockton Ports.
Bush owns a 288-272 managerial record (.514) in four seasons Class A Advanced Stockton in 2007-08 before assuming the reins in Midland in 2009. He guided the Ports to a California League title in 2008. Bush joined the Athletics in 2005 as hitting coach at Stockton for two seasons. Prior to Stockton, he managed independent teams, spending 2004 with Quebec, 2003 with Berkshire and 2002 with Yuba-Sutter.
A former catcher, Bush spent three seasons in the Minor Leagues with San Diego (1999-2000) and Philadelphia (2001). Before signing as a Minor League free agent in 1998, he played three seasons in the independent Frontier League.
Emerson will enter his ninth season as a pitching coach in the A's organization after four seasons with the RockHounds. He spent the previous four seasons with Class A affiliates, spending 2005-06 with Stockton and the 2003-04 campaign with Modesto. Emerson previously served in the same capacity for three seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, spending two years in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League (2000-01) before moving to short-season Williamsport in the New York-Penn League (2002).
Emerson was selected by Baltimore in the 40th round of the 1991 Draft and played parts of four seasons in the Orioles farm system before being traded to Boston in 1995. He was a 10-game winner with Class A Albany in 1993 and retired as a player following the 1998 season.
Steverson joined the A's organization in 2004 as a hitting coach for its short-season affiliate in Vancouver. He has had managerial stints with Sacramento (2008), Midland (2007) and Stockton (2005-06) before recently spending two seasons on the A's coaching staff. While managing in the Oakland system, he compiled a 297-264 (.529) record.
Steverson had a seven-year playing career that included Major League appearances with Detroit (1995) and San Diego (1996). He finished his Minor League career in 1998 with Triple-A Memphis of the PCL. Steverson was selected out of Culver City (Calif.) High School by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 1989 Draft but elected to attend Arizona State University. Three years later, he was a first-round pick (25th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays.
LaRosa, 34, enters his fourth season with the River Cats and in the A's organization. Prior to joining Sacramento, he spent three seasons as a Minor League athletic trainer in the Cardinals organization. In addition to his athletic training duties, LaRosa, a 2000 graduate of Southern Illinois University who earned a graduate degree in 2003, assists with the team's travel and equipment responsibilities.
The River Cats begin the 2011 season on April 7, when they host the Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) at Raley Field at 7:05 p.m. Season tickets, mini-plans and group outings can be purchased by calling the River Cats ticket hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). Individual game tickets, starting at $7, will go on sale online on Feb. 7. For more information about the 2011 River Cats season, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.