The Tampa Bay Rays have announced their Minor League coaching staff for the 2008 Vero Beach Devil Rays. Jim Morrison, who managed the Rays' affiliate in Columbus, Ga. to a South Atlantic League championship in 2007, was named Manager for the '08 squad.
The 2008 staff will also include Brady Williams, who will join the team following a coaching stint with the Columbus squad; R.C. Lichtenstein, who will return for his second season as the squad's pitching coach and trainer Joel Smith, who will return for his second season in Vero Beach as well. Vero Beach Devil Rays Co-General Manager Katie Siegfried is looking forward to the 2008 season.
"It is very exciting to see such an experienced staff on board," said Siegfried. "Hopefully they will continue their success and bring a championship to Vero Beach this year."
Jim Morrison, is entering his second year in the Rays organization and, has been coaching at the minor league level since 2000. He enjoyed a 15-year playing career, including 12 major league seasons with the Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Tigers and Braves before retiring in 1988. Last season Morrison led the Columbus Catfish to the South Atlantic League title, as the squad swept West Virginia (MIL) in three games in the SAL Championship Series.
Brady Williams, son of current Phillies Bench Coach Jimmy Williams, will see his third season as coach in the Rays organization in 2008, and first season with the Vero Beach squad. Williams was selected by the Red Sox in the 45th round of the 1999 June Draft and played six seasons of minor league baseball with Boston, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and the Chicago Cubs organizations before joining the coaching ranks for his first season in 2006.
R.C Lichtenstein enters his fourth season with the Rays organization, and second with the Vero Beach Devil Rays. The 2008 season marks Lichtenstein's 14th in professional baseball as a coach or manager.
Joel Smith returns to Vero Beach for his second season with the Devil Rays, and fifth as a part of the Rays organization. Smith interned with the Rays in minor league Spring Training in 2003, then spent a season with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League, before entering into full-time service in the Tampa Bay organization.
The Vero Beach Devil Rays are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and play at historic Holman Stadium in Vero Beach, Fla. In 2007 the VB Devil Rays posted a 59-79 record in the Florida State League. The team was second in the league with 105 home runs and the pitching staff led the league with eight complete games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.