Stubby Clapp will return to manage the ValleyCats in 2012 and will be rejoined by hitting coach Mark Bailey. Rick Aponte will serve as the new pitching coach for the 'Cats as Gary Ruby has been promoted to the Astros Double A affiliate in Corpus Christi. Ruby had been the pitching coach for the ValleyCats for three seasons (2009-11).
The 2012 season will be Stubby Clapp's second managing the ValleyCats and his sixth as a coach in the Astros organization. In his first season as manager, Clapp's 'Cats posted a 33-42 record. Prior to joining the managerial ranks, he spent four seasons as a hitting coach with Class A Lexington (2008, 2010) and Rookie League Greeneville (2007, 2009). Clapp played professionally for 11 seasons from 1996-2006 which included stops in the St. Louis (1996-2002), Atlanta (2003) and Toronto (2004) organizations. He also played two seasons of independent ball (2005-06).
Aponte is being promoted from Rookie League Greeneville to serve his fourth consecutive season as a pitching coach in the Astros system and his first with the 'Cats. The 2012 campaign is his 36th season in Houston's minor league system as either a player, coach or scout. Aponte pitched in the Astros system for six seasons (1975-1980) reaching as far as Triple A before completing his minor league career. He then spent more than 10 seasons as a pitching coach in Houston's minor league system at various levels, including stints in Auburn (1987), Kissimmee (1988-89) and Burlington (1992).
Bailey, the Astros bullpen coach from 2002-09, returns for his second year with Tri-City and his third consecutive as a hitting coach in the Houston system. Drafted by Houston in the sixth round of the 1982 free agent draft out of Southwest Missouri State, Bailey went on to play for the Astros from 1984-88 and was part of the NL Western Division championship team in 1986. He finished his big league career with the San Francisco Giants in 1990 and 1992.
Rounding out the ValleyCats field staff will be athletic trainer Michael Rendon. This will be Rendon's first season with the 'Cats and second in the Astros system after serving in the same role for Rookie League Greeneville in 2011.
The 'Cats begin their 2012 home schedule on Wednesday, June 20th versus the Vermont Lakemonsters. Mini-Plans and Season Tickets are available by calling the ValleyCats front office at (518) 629-2287 or online at www.tcvalleycats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.