ZEBULON, NC - Joe Ayrault was named the new manager of the Carolina Mudcats today as the Milwaukee Brewers announced their Minor League affiliate coaching staffs for the 2017 season. Ayrault is joined in Carolina by Pitching Coach Dave Chavarria, Coach Edwin Maysonet, Coach Dave Joppie and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen.
Ayrault enters his first season as manager of the Mudcats, but returns for his sixth overall as skipper of Milwaukee's Class-A Advanced affiliate. Milwaukee was previously affiliated with the Florida State League's Brevard County Manatees from 2005 through 2016 before entering into a new player development agreement with the Mudcats in September 2016.
Chavarria, Maysonet and Mergen are all returnees as well as they worked on Ayrault's staff last season with Brevard County. Joppie, a 22-year veteran in professional baseball, is in his first year in the Milwaukee system.
Ayrault, 45, spent the last five seasons as manager of the Manatees and compiled a 297-379 (.439) record between 2012 and 2016. He originally joined the Brewers in 2010 as manager of Milwaukee's Rookie Level affiliate, the Helena Brewers, and earned Pioneer League Co-Manager of the Year honors while leading Helena to a 41-34 record and the Pioneer League championship in his first season at the helm.
Chavarria, 43, is in his sixth season as a coach in the Milwaukee system and his fourth straight as pitching coach of their Class-A Advanced club. He previously spent two seasons (2012-2013) as Class-A Wisconsin's pitching coach. In 2012 Chavarria's Wisconsin Timber Rattlers staff pitched to a 2.00 ERA over nine postseason games while en route to winning the 2012 Midwest League title. Before joining the Brewers, Chavarria additionally spent 11 seasons coaching in the Texas Rangers farm system.
Maysonet, 35, enters his second year as a coach in the Milwaukee system after retiring as a player following the 2015 season. He was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in 2003 and first reached the Major Leagues in 2008. He played with the Astros from 2008 through 2009 and later appeared in 30 games with the Brewers in 2012.
Joppie, 51, is new to the Brewers system, but is entering his 22nd year overall as a coach or manager in professional baseball. He spent his previous 10 seasons coaching in the Boston Red Sox system (2006-2015) and his first 11 years coaching in the Oakland Athletics system (1995-2005). Joppie was named both the Midwest League's Manager of the Year and Baseball America's Class Low-A Minor League Manager of the Year in 2004 while managing the Kane County Cougars in the Oakland farm system.
Mergen, 32, begins his seventh season in the Milwaukee organization, all of which with the club's Class-A Advanced club. Mergen has also worked in the strength and conditioning departments at NC State University, the UW-La Crosse and the National Strength and Conditioning Association World Headquarters. He graduated from St. Ambrose University with a dual degree in exercise science and Spanish in 2007. He received his master's from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in human performance in 2009.
The 2017 Carolina Mudcats season officially begins on Thursday, April 6 in Frederick against the Carolina League Northern Division's Frederick Keys. The Mudcats will also play the Keys during their home opener on Thursday, April 13 at Five County Stadium in Zebulon.
Full, half and quarter season ticket packages as well as group ticket packages and the latest Muddy's Unreal Deals are all immediately available by visiting the Five County Stadium front office in Zebulon, by calling (919) 269-CATS (2287) and by visiting www.carolinamudcats.com.
The Carolina Mudcats are the proud new Carolina League, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. First established in 1991, the two-time Southern League Champion Mudcats are entering their 27th consecutive season of baseball at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.