WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Seven-year Major League veteran Steve Scarsone will be the fifth manager in River Cats history, the Oakland Athletics announced today. Rick Rodriguez -- who was the A's bullpen coach for the last two seasons after spending 10 seasons in Sacramento -- will return as pitching coach in 2013, while Greg Sparks will return for his second season as the club's hitting coach.
Scarsone has risen steadily through the A's system, managing Class A Kane County in 2009, Class A Advanced Stockton in 2010, and Double-A Midland for the past two seasons. He previously managed Class A South Bend (2001) and Class A Advanced Lancaster (2002) in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
"The Oakland Athletics are pleased to promote Steve to Sacramento after exhibiting outstanding leadership and development skills at the minor league level," said Keith Lieppman, director of player development for the A's.
"He not only has shown good leadership qualities as a manager but also is a proven teacher and instructor. We believe he will carry on in the fine tradition of the outstanding young managers that have led the River Cats throughout their history."
Scarsone played collegiately at Santa Ana Junior College before being drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1986 January amateur draft by Philadelphia. He made his Major League debut May 15, 1992, and would go on to enjoy a seven-year big league career with the Phillies, Orioles, Giants, Cardinals and Royals. During those seven seasons, he combined to hit .239 with 20 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 103 runs scored in 350 career games.
Scarsone also played parts of 11 seasons in the minors, including three seasons in the Pacific Coast League. He enjoyed one of his best seasons in 1998 for the Vancouver Canadians -- the franchise that moved to Sacramento following the 1999 season -- when he led the team in hits (110), home runs (20) and RBIs (55).
Rodriguez -- the longest tenured pitching coach in River Cats history -- returns to Sacramento for the first time since 2010. Rodriguez played four seasons in the major leagues, including two with Oakland and one with San Francisco. He finished his career with eight saves in 31 career appearances. In 11 minor league seasons, he tallied a 52-41 record with a 3.89 ERA spanning 946.2 innings pitched.
The Athletics also announced that Brad LaRosa will return for his sixth season as the River Cats head athletic trainer, and Jared Elliott will join the staff as the strength and conditioning coach after spending the 2012 season with the Midland RockHounds, Oakland's Double-A affiliate.
Scott Emerson -- the River Cats' pitching coach since 2011 -- has been named the A's minor league roving pitching instructor
2013 Sacramento River Cats Field Staff
Steve Scarsone (first season)
Greg Sparks (second season)
Rick Rodriguez (11th season)
Brad LaRosa (sixth season)
Strength and Conditioning Coach:
Jared Elliott (first season)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.