The Chicago Cubs and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are pleased to announce that Buddy Bailey will return to manage the Birds for a 7th season, marking his 36th as a minor league manager. Bailey is the winningest active minor league manager with 2,357 regular season victories. In each of the
The Chicago Cubs and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are pleased to announce that Buddy Bailey will return to manage the Birds for a 7th season, marking his 36th as a minor league manager. Bailey is the winningest active minor league manager with 2,357 regular season victories. In each of the past two seasons he has led the Pelicans to a first-half title in the Carolina League’s South Division. 2023 also saw Bailey celebrate two special milestones – on July 9th he recorded his 400th career victory with the Pelicans, and on September 10th the team finished the regular season with the best winning percentage in the Carolina League.
Bailey originally managed the Birds from 2016-2018. He returned to Myrtle Beach in 2021 after a one-year stint with the South Bend Cubs. During his time with the Birds, Bailey has racked up 434 wins, four half season Southern Division Titles, one Southern Division Championship title, and the Carolina League Championship title in 2016.
The number of former Pelicans who played under Bailey and have made their MLB debut now exceeds 30. Additionally, the #46 American Sign Language jersey worn by Bailey on the Pelicans' inaugural Deaf Awareness Night was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, NY in October of 2018 and remains on display today.
George Thanopoulos joins the Pelicans as the Pitching Coach for 2024. Thanopoulos, originally from Highland, CA, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2016 where he played two seasons for the Boise Hawks (Class A affiliate). He joined the Cubs organization in 2021 as a Development Coach. In 2022 Thanopoulos transitioned to Manager of Minor League Pitching Development before moving to the role of Rehab Pitching Coordinator for the 2023 season. Between his time with the Rockies and Cubs, his experience includes time as a coach for Envoy Baseball as part of MLB’s initiative to promote and spread the game of baseball in China, and an assistant coach for Pomona College. Thanopoulos is a graduate of Columbia University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as a Certificate in Sports Industry Essentials from their School of Professional Studies.
Armando Gabino will join the staff as the Assistant Pitching Coach for 2024. Gabino, originally from Santiago, Dominican Republic, was drafted by Cleveland. He began his career as a third baseman but was converted to a pitcher in 2004. He went on to play for the Minnesota Twins beginning in 2005 and made his MLB debut with the club on August 25, 2009. The next two seasons he played for Baltimore and spent time between AA, AAA, the Majors. In 2015 Gabino began his coaching career with the Cubs organization. He served as a Pitching Coach for the DSL Cubs through 2016 before moving to the Arizona League Cubs in 2017. The following two seasons were spent with the Eugene Emeralds where he helped claim the 2018 Northwest League Championship alongside former Pelicans skipper Steve Lerud. Most recently, Gabino has served as a Pitching Coach in the Arizona Complex League (2021-23).
Hitting Coach Roberto Vaz returns to Myrtle Beach for his second season with the Cubs organization. In 2014, Vaz began his eight year assistant coach stint with LSU-Eunice Baseball. He also served as an Assistant Coach for the USA Baseball U18 team in 2022. Vaz, originally from Brooklyn, NY, was drafted by Oakland Athletics in 1997. He spent his seven year playing career with the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers organizations. In 1999, Vaz helped the Vancouver Canadians win the Triple-A World Series.
The Pelicans’ Bench Coach for 2024 will be D’Angelo Jimenez, whose professional playing career began in 1994 when he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Yankees. While he made his MLB debut the Yankees, the infielder went on to play for six other teams (Padres, White Sox, Reds, Rangers, A’s, and Nationals) and throughout his 8-year MLB career recorded 2,159 at bats with a .263 career batting average. Jimenez joined the Cubs organization as a hitting coach in the DSL Cubs (2018-19, 2021) and has served as the bench coach for the South Bend Cubs the past two seasons. Prior to joining Chicago’s coaching staff, he spent several years coaching in the Dominican League, namely with the Tigres del Licey.
Developmental Coach Daniel Wasinger joins the Pelicans staff in 2024 for his first season with the Cubs organization. A native of El Paso, TX, Wasinger was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a catcher in 2018. He attended Southeastern Louisiana, and his professional career included stops in the Arizona League, Pioneer League, Midwest League, Northwest League, the American Association, and the Mexican League.
The Athletic Trainer for the Pelicans, Maggie Lowenhar, is also a returnee from the 2023 season. Prior to her time in Myrtle Beach she served as the Athletic Training Intern for the Arizona Complex League Cubs. Lowenhar is a 2019 graduate of Indiana University - Bloomington where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training, and a 2021 graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she earned her Masters of Arts in Athletic Training.
Allen Cooper rounds out the 2024 staff as the Strength and Conditioning Coach. Cooper joined the Cubs organization in March of 2023 after serving as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Eastside Catholic School. He graduated from San Diego State University and went on to earn a Masters in Sports Management from Southern Nazarene College in 2018.
The Pelicans’ 2024 season will begin on April 5 against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. Season tickets as well as a limited number of single game tickets are available now. For more information visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com, call (843) 918-6000 or visit the Pelicans Front Office.