CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Senior Director of Minor League Operations Larry Broadway, announced the Double-A affiliate's field staff for the 2020 season on Thursday. The new staff will be led by manager Dave Turgeon, who becomes the 11th manager in franchise
CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Senior Director of Minor League Operations Larry Broadway, announced the Double-A affiliate's field staff for the 2020 season on Thursday. The new staff will be led by manager Dave Turgeon, who becomes the 11th manager in franchise history.
Turgeon, 54, enters his 10th season as a coach in the Pirates system and will be joined by pitching coach Tom Filer and new hitting coach David Newhan. Jorge Islas will be another new face in the dugout as the Athletic Trainer while Joe Schlesinger returns for his fourth season as the Curve's Strength and Conditioning Coach.
The 2020 season will be Turgeon's 21st season as a coach and sixth year as a manager in the Minors. He owns a career record of 152-193 over five seasons, including a 105-98 mark in three years with Pittsburgh-affiliated clubs. He also spent the 2019 Arizona Fall League season as the manager of the Peoria Javelinas, where he led Pirates, Mariners, Padres, Red Sox and Astros prospects. His latest position with the Pirates was Coordinator of Instruction, a title he held for five seasons (2015-19).
Turgeon's coaching career started in the Cleveland Indians system with the Burlington Indians in 2000 followed by one season with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. He aided Cleveland's extended spring training program in 2002 before he spent the following eight years as a college coach at Boston College, the University of Connecticut, Duke University and Virginia Tech. Turgeon joined the Pirates in 2011 as the pitching coach for the West Virginia Power. He went on to manage the State College Spikes in 2012 and Jamestown Jammers in 2013 before shifting into the role of Assistant Field Coordinator in 2014. During his five seasons as the Coordinator of Instruction, he also managed the GCL Pirates in 2018.
"Everything that I've done to this point has prepared me to go up there and meet whatever challenges that I have there," said Turgeon. "Managing has always been one of the most enjoyable things because I love going through life with a group of guys for six months, through the ups and downs and come together as a team. That is one of my favorite things about player development."
Turgeon also explained, "I view myself as a teacher and teaching is teaching, no matter the level. I think the audience changes, the ages change. You need to have the ability to repackage things to teach the same principles and fundamentals of the game, of life, etc."
As a player, Turgeon was a three-time All-Southern Conference third baseman at Davidson College and was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1987 draft. He spent the first four years of his 11-year playing career as an infielder in the Yankees system. He later played professionally in Europe (1991-92), Taiwan (1993-96, 1998) and Mexico (1997-99) before a return to the U.S. with the Rochester Red Wings in 1998. While playing in France during the 1992 season, he converted to a right-handed pitcher and went on to become a three-time all-star selection in Taiwan and 1998 Mexican League Player of the Year.
Turgeon is a native of New London, Conn. and resides in Palmetto, Fla. with his wife, Theresa. His nephew, Erik, pitched for the Curve in 2012.
Filer, 63, was the pitching coach for the Curve in 2010 when the team captured the first Eastern League championship in franchise history. The upcoming season will be his 27th year as a coach and 11th season in the Pirates organization. His latest post was Pittsburgh's Assistant Pitching Coordinator, a role he served in for five years (2015-2019). Filer spent the first nine years of his coaching career as a pitching coach in the Yankees organization (1994-2002). He also instructed pitching staffs in the Toronto Blue Jays (2003) and Philadelphia Phillies (2004-09) developmental chains before he joined the Pirates in 2010. In Pittsburgh's system, he has been a pitching coach with the West Virginia Black Bears (2015, 2019), Bristol Pirates (2016) and Indianapolis Indians (2011-14) in addition to the 2010 season in Altoona. Filer has spent eight seasons as an Eastern League pitching coach with the Norwich Navigators (1999-2001), Reading Phillies (2005-08) and the Curve.
Born in Philadelphia, Filer currently resides in Langhorne, Pa. with his wife, Barb. He played college baseball at LaSalle University and started his professional career in the Yankees system in 1978. Filer, a right-handed pitcher, spent parts of six seasons in the Majors with the Chicago Cubs (1982), Toronto Blue Jays (1985), Milwaukee Brewers (1988-90) and New York Mets (1992) with a career record of 22-17 and 4.25 ERA in 67 big league outings. He wrapped up his playing career after the 1993 season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate and went into coaching the following year.
Newhan, 46, joins the Pirates organization for his 10th season as a coach. He spent the 2019 season managing the Mobile BayBears, the Los Angeles Angels' Double-A affiliate in the Southern League. He was also a manager in 2014 for the Vermont Lake Monsters, Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Newhan was the Infield Coordinator for the Angels during the 2017-18 seasons after he served as the Assistant Hitting Coach of the Detroit Tigers in 2015-16 under manager Brad Ausmus. He started his coaching career in the San Diego Padres system in 2011 where he was the hitting coach for the A-Adv. affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Newhan's playing career spanned 14 years, including eight seasons in the Majors with the Padres (1999-2000), Phillies (2000-01), Orioles (2004-06), Mets (2007) and Astros (2008). The Athletics drafted the infielder/outfielder in the 17th round in 1995 and he made his MLB debut with the Padres on June 4, 1999. Over 413 MLB games, Newhan hit .253 with 23 homers and 120 RBIs highlighted career-highs in batting average (.311), homers (8), doubles (15), triples (7) and RBIs (54) with the Orioles in 2004. A native of Fullerton, Calif., Newhan lives in Vista, Calif. with his wife, Karen.
Islas comes to the Curve for his seventh year as a trainer with the Pirates after he spent 2019 as the Athletic Trainer for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. His previous six seasons in the organization were spent with the Dominican Summer League Pirates (2014-15), Bristol Pirates (2016) and West Virginia Black Bears (2017-18). He earned his bachelor's of science degree in Athletic Training from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012 and a master's degree in Sports Medicine from Georgia State University in 2014. A native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Islas resides in Raleigh, N.C. with his wife, Brittany.
Schlesinger is the only returning member to the 2020 coaching staff and will be with the Curve for a fourth season as Strength and Conditioning Coach. The Cleveland, Ohio native was on the field staff during the 2017 season and was part of the Western Division coaching staff for the 2018 Eastern League All-Star Game in Trenton. The upcoming season will be his seventh with the Pirates that has included stops with the West Virginia Power, West Virginia Black Bears and Jamestown Jammers. Schlesinger currently resides in Seven Hills, Ohio with his wife, Mela.