IronPigs add Morandini to staff

Full staff returning with longtime Phillies 2B as bench coach

By Lehigh Valley IronPigs | January 8, 2014 3:45 PM

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The Lehigh Valley IronPigs coaching staff will return for the 2014 season along with the addition of bench coach and longtime Philadelphia second baseman Mickey Morandini, as announced by the Phillies today. Morandini, who spent the last two seasons managing Lakewood (A), will join second-year manager Dave Brundage, second-year pitching coach Ray Burris and fourth-year hitting coach Sal Rende for the seventh season of IronPigs baseball.

This season will also mark the first time the IronPigs will have a bench coach as well as a four-man coaching staff.

Mickey Morandini, 47, will enter his fourth season on the Phillies developmental staff after spending four years as the head coach for Valparaiso (Ind.) High School. He did, however, serve as guest instructor during Spring Training for the Phillies in 2009 and 2010 before joining full time as the manager of Williamsport (A) for the 2011 campaign.

After being drafted by the Phillies out of Indiana University in the fifth round of the 1988 Draft, the native of Leechburg, Pa., went on to an 11-year Major League career that was highlighted by a trip to the 1993 World Series and a selection to the 1995 National League All-Star team. Morandini finished his career batting .268 with 32 home runs, 351 runs batted in and 123 stolen bases in 1,298 games -- 956 (74%) of which he donned a Phillies uniform. In fact, Morandini finished his career as the Phillies' all-time leader in most seasons (eight) as a regular starter at second base (later surpassed by Chase Utley, who recorded his ninth in 2013).

A reputation for stellar defense during his career, Morandini earned the nickname, "Dandy Little Glove Man." In fact, the 5-foot-11 infielder led NL second basemen in fielding percentage (.993) in 1998 while with the Chicago Cubs and also ranked second in the circuit in 1992, 1993, 1997 and 1999. He finished his career with a .989 mark, which lists 13th all-time among qualifying second basemen (minimum of 500 games). Coincidentally, that list is led by former Phillies infielder Placido Polanco (.9927) with former IronPigs skipper and current Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg ranking ninth (.9894).

As a defender, Morandini etched his name into the record book when he became the first second baseman in Major League Baseball history to record an unassisted triple-play during the regular season when he accomplished the feat on a ball hit by Pittsburgh's Jeff Kent on Sept. 20, 1992, at Three Rivers Stadium (the only other one was turned by Cleveland's Bill Wambganss in Game Five of the 1920 World Series). It was also the first unassisted triple-play in MLB since 1968 and the first in the NL since 1927.

Morandini, who currently resides in Glen Mills, Pa., posted a combined managerial record of 161-189 in his first three seasons in the system.

Dave Brundage, 49, returns to Lehigh Valley for his second season in the Phillies system and 17th as a Minor League manager after guiding the IronPigs to a 72-72 record in his initial term. The native of Portland, Ore., has accrued an all-time managerial record of 1,157-1,098 (.513) in 2,255 career games, including a 505-494 (.506) mark over seven International League seasons. In fact, Opening Day 2014 will mark his 1,000th game as an IL skipper.

Of the 16 teams that Brundage has managed, exactly half (eight) have advanced to postseason play and three went on to win a league championship.

Prior to joining the Phillies developmental staff, Brundage was a manager in the Atlanta Braves system for six years -- guiding the 2007 Richmond Braves to an IL Championship and the 2009 Gwinnett Braves to the postseason in their inaugural campaign.

Brundage spent his first nine seasons as a skipper in the Seattle Mariners system, including his first stint in Triple-A with Tacoma in 2006 (74-70). His most notable success was achieved during his five seasons with Double-A San Antonio (2001-2005), during which time the Missions advanced to the playoffs four seasons and won the Texas League title twice (2002, 2003). In 2003, he was named both TL Manager of the Year and Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year when San Antonio finished with a league-best 88-51 record, a minors-best 18-game winning streak and a second-straight TL championship. He was also the manager for the West squad in the 2001 TL All-Star Game.

Brundage's other career stops include managerial posts with the Mariners' Single-A California League affiliates in Riverside (1995) and Lancaster (1996), as well as with the Double-A Southern League affiliate in Memphis (1997). He also served three seasons as hitting coach with Triple-A Tacoma (1998-2000).

During his playing days, Brundage was originally drafted by Philadelphia in the fourth round of 1986 out of Oregon State University. After two seasons in the Phillies organization -- including 14 games in Double-A Reading in 1987 -- he was traded to Seattle with RHP Mike Jackson and OF Glenn Wilson for OF Phil Bradley and LHP Tim Fortugno on Dec. 9, 1987. Over 10 Minor League seasons (1986-1994, 1998), the 1B/OF batted .275-16-261 in 784 games while finishing 1-5, 3.83 ERA in 41 games (one game started) as a pitcher.

Brundage spent a bulk of his playing career in Triple-A, where he spent six seasons for the now-defunct Calgary Cannons (1989-1994). He remains the Cannons all-time leader in games played (354) and walks drawn (208), third in runs scored (196) and sixth in hits (302).

In 1992, Brundage was converted to a pitcher at the Arizona Instructional League and later selected in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft by Montreal, but was released in Spring Training and re-signed by the Mariners. He became a player/coach for Calgary in 1993 and 1994 and was even pressed into action for one game while coaching with Tacoma in 1998.

Brundage is one of the most decorated amateur athletes in Oregon state history. He graduated from McKay H.S. in Salem, where he earned All-State honors in football, basketball and baseball. Brundage also spent 11 years as a Golden Gloves boxer, during which time he defeated three future Olympic Gold Medalists. While at Oregon State, Brundage earned All-American honors as an outfielder in 1986 while serving as punter and backup quarterback for the Beavers football team.

Brundage and his wife, Dameron, reside in Gwinnett in the offseason with their three children, Beau, Baylor and Barrett.

Ray Burris, 63, returns for his second season as IronPigs pitching coach after spending seven years in the same capacity in the Tigers system -- the last five of which were expended in Erie (AA). In his first campaign in the Phillies system, the native of Duke, Okla., orchestrated a rapid improvement of the pitching staff that resulted in a 3.08 ERA over the second half of the season and a total of 15 hurlers earning promotion to Philadelphia.

Prior to his stint with Detroit, Burris served in a variety of capacities at both the major and Minor League levels. After retiring as a player with the Brewers in 1997, he began the post-playing phase of his career as a Minor League pitching coach for Milwaukee for two seasons (1988-89). He then joined the Brewers' big league staff as the bullpen coach for two years (1990-91) before later serving as a roving instructor, special assistant to the general manager, advanced scout and community development employee while with Milwaukee.

Burris next had a four-year stop with the Texas Rangers, which started as the Rangers' assistant pitching coach in 1992. He then moved to the front office for three years (1993-95) where he spent time as a special assistant for community development and special projects and later as an assistant to the vice president of community development. Included on Burris' resume is a stint as the roving pitching instructor in the St. Louis Cardinals organization from 2001-02. Additionally, Burris has worked with top prospects in the prestigious Arizona Fall League as the pitching coach for the Mesa Solar Sox (2008) and the Surprise Rafters (2010).

Over his 15-year Major League career, Burris went 108-134 with a 4.17 ERA in 408 games (302 games started) with seven different clubs. Seven of those 15 seasons came with the Chicago Cubs, who drafted the 6-foot-5 right-hander in the 17th round of the 1972 Draft out of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Burris also pitched for the New York Yankees (1979), New York Mets (1979-80), Montreal Expos (1981-83), Oakland A's (1984), Brewers (1985, '87) and Cardinals (1986). Among his career highlights, Burris tossed a five-hit shutout against the Dodgers in Game Two of the 1981 NL Championship Series.

Sal Rende, 58, embarks on his fourth season as hitting coach for the IronPigs and his 11th in the Phillies system. After starting as the Triple-A hitting coach for both Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2004-06) and Ottawa (2007), Rende later served a three-year stint as roving hitting instructor (2008-10).

In 2013, the native of Blue Island, Ill., guided IronPigs batters to a .267 team average -- finishing less than .00007 behind Durham for tops in the IL. Even so, the team's second-place finish in batting was by far the franchise's all-time high (previously eighth at .257 in 2012).

Rende's extensive post-playing resume includes managerial stints in the Chicago White Sox (1984), Seattle Mariners (1986-87) and Kansas City Royals (1988-91) farm systems. In 11 seasons as a Minor League skipper, Rende posted eight winning seasons, six first-place finishes, three league championships and a combined 736-618 (.544) record. He was named Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News and the American Association in 1990, going 86-60 with the Omaha Royals (AAA). Rende's last two years managing came in the IL with the Charlotte Knights in 1995-96.

After being selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round of the 1977 Draft, Rende spent seven years in the Indians Minor League system, which included winning the New York-Penn League MVP award in 1977 for Batavia (A). That season, his first as a professional, Rende hit .356 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI in just 63 games. In total, he finished at .257-122-474 in 793 games over his seven-year career.

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