CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Pittsburgh Pirates, parent club of the West Virginia Power, have announced the 2013 field staff for their Minor League Baseball affiliates. The Power will see the return of a familiar face and welcome two new members to the dugout.
Michael Ryan will replace Rick Sofield as the manager of the Power, a Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. Ryan, a fifth-round Draft choice of Minnesota in 1995, served as a coach for Altoona Curve in 2012. He played 15 seasons professionally, including portions of five in the Majors with the Twins and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 2013 will mark Ryan's first stint as a manager.
Jeff Johnson returns to Charleston as the pitching coach for the Power. Johnson, a former pitcher for the New York Yankees, served as West Virginia's pitching coach from 2009 to 2011, and spent the 2012 season in Double-A with the Curve. He was selected by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 1988 Draft and spent three seasons in the big leagues.
Orlando Merced will join the Power staff as a coach for the 2013 season. Merced was signed as an amateur free agent out of high school by Pittsburgh in 1985 and made his Major League debut during the 1990 season. In 1991, Merced finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. All told, the first baseman/outfielder hit .277 over 13 seasons, seven of which were with the Pirates.
Sofield was promoted to Pittsburgh earlier this offseason and will serve as the Pirates first base coach on manager Clint Hurdle's staff. Edgar Varela will serve as a coach for Pittsburgh's Class A Advanced affiliate in the Florida State League, the Bradenton Marauders. Phil Mastro is tabbed to return to the Power as their trainer for the second consecutive season.
The West Virginia Power open the 2013 season on April 4 at Appalachian Power Park against the Ashville Tourists. Full and partial season ticket packages, as well as several mini-plans, are currently available. For more information, please contact the Power front office at (304) 344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com online.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.