LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, announced today, in conjunction with the Mets Media Relations Department, that Pedro Lopez was named manager for the Mets Triple-A affiliate for the 2017 season. Lopez becomes the 23rd manager in the history of the Las Vegas franchise (1983 - 2016, 34 seasons). He also played for the Triple-A Las Vegas Stars in 1994 as a member of the San Diego Padres organization.
The 51s coaching staff was also announced as Frank Viola will return for his fourth season as pitching coach and Jack Voigt will return for his third season as hitting coach. Deb Iwanow will return for her second season as Athletic Trainer for Triple-A Las Vegas and the Strength Coach position is TBA.
Lopez, 47, has been a member of the Mets organization for the past nine seasons (2008-16) and spent the previous five seasons as manager of Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League (2012-16). He compiled a five-year regular season record of 377-329 (.534). He was inducted into the Binghamton Baseball Shrine on September 6, 2015 after becoming the all-time winningest manager in team history with then-320 (regular season and postseason) victories as skipper of the BMets (now the Rumble Ponies). He became the first active manager or player to be inducted into Binghamton's Baseball Shrine. Lopez was named the 2013 Eastern League Manager of the Year after leading Binghamton to a franchise record 86-55 record (.610) and a trip to the postseason. He then spent the final three weeks of September serving as coach for the Mets. In 2014, he guided Binghamton to an 83-59 record (.585) and the BMets captured the EL Championship with a three-game sweep of Richmond. He guided Binghamton to three straight EL playoff appearances (2013-15) for the first time in franchise history.
Lopez began his career with the Mets as a coach with Single-A Kingsport of the Appalachian League in 2008. He then was the manager of Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League in 2009 and compiled a 45-30 record (.600) and led the Cyclones to the playoffs. He then held the same position with Savannah in 2010 (75-64, .540, playoff appearance) and served as manager of Single-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League in 2011 (72-68, .514, South Division Champions).
"First and foremost, I'm extremely happy and excited for the opportunity to manage in Triple-A after five years managing in Binghamton," 51s Manager Pedro Lopez said. "I'm extremely honored for this opportunity after speaking with Sandy Alderson (Mets GM), Ian Levin (Director, Minor League Operations) and Kevin Morgan (Minor League Field Coordinator). It's good for my career and for the players that I have managed over the past couple of years. I get the opportunity to further manage them at the Triple-A level.
"I have been very fortunate to manage so many outstanding players in the Mets system and to help them advance to the Triple-A level and ultimately to the big leagues. It will be fun to be back in Las Vegas again and I enjoyed my playing days there in Las Vegas.
"We have an outstanding coaching staff in Las Vegas with Frank (Viola) and Jack (Voigt) returning and we will all help with the continued development of our top prospects in particular Amed Rosario (shortstop) and Dominic Smith (infielder)."
Lopez has compiled a 15-year minor league managerial record of 809-740 (.522) in the Texas Rangers and New York Mets organizations from 2001-05, 2007-16.
Prior to joining the Mets organization, Lopez managed and coached in the Texas Rangers' farm system from 2000-07. In 2007, he was the manager of the Rangers Arizona League (Rookie) team, after serving in the same role from 2003-05. In 2006, he was the hitting coach for Single-A Bakersfield of the California League. In 2002, he managed Single-A Pulaski of the Appalachian League and in 2001 with Single-A Savannah.
Lopez began his professional career when selected by the San Diego Padres in the 21st round of the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft out of Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona.
He played in a total of 13 seasons in the minor leagues, six of those seasons in the Padres organization as a catcher and was a member of the Triple-A Las Vegas Stars in 1994. He won a Texas League championship under manager and former Stars player Bruce Bochy with Double-A Wichita in 1992. He then joined the Milwaukee organization as a minor league free agent in 1995, spending parts of two seasons at Triple-A before eventually ending his playing career with Houston in 2000. Lopez appeared in 909 career games and batted .247 (690-for-2,796) with 49 home runs and 338 RBI.
PEDRO LOPEZ'S MANAGERIAL RECORD
YEAR CLUB LEAGUE W L PCT. FINISH
2001 Savannah (A) South Atlantic 54 82 .397 - -
2002 Pulaski (A) Appalachian 34 32 .515 - -
2003 Rangers (R) Arizona 38 18 .679 1st
2004 Rangers (R) Arizona 32 24 .571 3rd
2005 Rangers (R) Arizona 27 29 .482 5th
2007 Rangers (R) Arizona 22 34 .393 8th
2008 Kingsport (R) Appalachian 33 30 .524 4th
2009 Brooklyn (A) New York-Penn 45 30 .600 2nd
2010 Savannah (A) South Atlantic 75 64 .540 3rd
2011 St. Lucie (A) Florida State 72 68 .514 2nd
2012 Binghamton (AA) Eastern 68 74 .479 5th
2013 Binghamton (AA)* Eastern 86 55 .610 1st
2014 Binghamton (AA)** Eastern 83 59 .585 2nd
2015 Binghamton (AA) Eastern 77 64 .546 2nd
2016 Binghamton (AA) Eastern 63 77 .450 5th
TOTALS (15 years) 809 740 .522
*Eastern League Manager of the Year **Eastern League Champions
Las Vegas Franchise All-Time Managers List (1983-2016):
1983 Harry Dunlop (83-60, .580)
1984-85 Bob Cluck (136-144, .486)
1986 Larry Bowa (80-62, .563, PCL Champions)
1987 Jack Krol (69-73, .486)
1988-89 Steve Smith (148-135, .523, '88 PCL Champions)
1990 Pat Kelly (58-86, .403)
1991-92 Jim Riggleman (139-145, .489)
1993-94 Russ Nixon (114-172, .399)
1995 Tim Flannery (61-83, .424)
1996-98, 2005-06 Jerry Royster (323-387, .455)
1999 Mike Ramsey (67-75, .472)
2000 Duane Espy (30-20, .600)
2000 Tony Franklin (43-50, .462)
2001 Rick Sofield (68-76, .472)
2002 Brad Mills (85-59, .590, PCL Manager of the Year)
2003 John Shoemaker (76-66, .535)
2004 Terry Kennedy (67-76, .469)
2007-08 Lorenzo Bundy (141-146, .491)
2009 Mike Basso (71-73, .493)
2010 Dan Rohn (66-78, .458)
2011-12 Marty Brown (150-137, .523)
2013-16 Wally Backman (309-267, .536) - 2014 PCL Manager of the Year
Las Vegas Triple-A Affiliation History:
San Diego Padres, 18 seasons (1983-2000), 1,227-1,329 (.480), 7 playoff appearances
Los Angeles Dodgers, 8 seasons (2001-08), 561-586 (.489), 1 playoff appearance
Toronto Blue Jays, 4 seasons (2009-2012), 287-288 (.499), 0 playoff appearances
New York Mets, 4 seasons (2013-16), 309-267 (.536), 2 playoff appearances
ALL-TIME RECORD: 2,384-2,470 (.491)
The Las Vegas Stars/51s have captured the PCL Championship twice (1986 & 1988) and appeared in the playoffs 10 times (19-29 record, .396).
Voigt will enter his 12th overall season in the Mets organization and his third season as the hitting instructor for Triple-A Las Vegas. In 2016, Las Vegas boasted the TOP 3 hitters in the PCL for the second time in the 34-year franchise history (1983-2016): T.J. Rivera (.353, batting champion), Brandon Nimmo (.352), Gavin Cecchini (.325). The 1985 Las Vegas Stars also recorded the TOP 3 hitters in the PCL: John Kruk (.351, batting champion), Rusty Tillman (.337), Ray Smith (.325).
Voigt served four seasons as the organization's outfield and baserunning coordinator (2011-14). He also served as hitting coach for Triple-A Buffalo of the International League in 2010 and served in the same role for Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League in 2009. He served as hitting coach for Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League for two seasons (2012-13) and the team captured the championship and advanced to the Caribbean World Series. He joined the Mets organization in 2006 as a major league Advance Scout.
He worked with the Washington Nationals in 2005 on Manager Frank Robinson's coaching staff. In 2004, he was a minor league roving baserunning and bunting coach in the Atlanta organization and served as baserunning and outfield coordinator for Baltimore in 2003. He also managed Baltimore's Single-A Frederick affiliate of the Carolina League in 2002 and was the hitting coach for Frederick in 2001. Voigt began his coaching career in 2000 as a player/coach with Triple-A Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League.
Voigt was selected by Baltimore in the ninth round of the 1987 Amateur Draft. He played six seasons in the Major Leagues with Baltimore (1993-95), Texas (1995-96), Milwaukee (1997) and Oakland (1998). He appeared in 294 career games and batted .235 (138-for-588) with 20 home runs and 83 RBI.
He attended Louisiana State University for three years (1985-87) and played in the 1987 College World Series and was named to the All-CWS Team. In the tournament, he hit the game-winning home run in the seventh inning to beat Arkansas.
Viola enters his fourth season as the pitching coach at Triple-A Las Vegas and his seventh season overall with the Mets organization. In 2014, the 51s pitching staff established a franchise record with 1,172 strikeouts.
He spent two seasons (2012-13) as the pitching coach at Single-A Savannah of the South Atlantic League. He served in the same position with Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League in 2011. He was the manager of the Leesburgh Lightning in the Florida Collegiate Summer League from 2008-10, leading the squad to the FCSL championship in 2009 and to the championship game in 2010. He also coached at Lake Highland Prep in Florida from 1998-2007.
He enjoyed an outstanding 15-year Major League career with Minnesota (1982-89), New York Mets (1989-91), Boston (1992-94), Cincinnati (1995) and Toronto (1996). The left-hander appeared in 421 career games and posted a 176-150 record with a 3.73 ERA. He struck out 1,844 batters in 2,836.1 innings pitched. The three-time All-Star went 20-12 with a 2.67 ERA in 249.2 innings pitched for the Mets in 1990. He was a member of the 1987 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins and the World Series MVP that same season (2-1, 3.72 ERA vs. St. Louis). He won the Cy Young Award in 1988 with a career-best 24-7 record and a 2.64 ERA in 255.1 innings pitched in 35 games started. He also posted 18 wins in a season twice for the Twins in 1984 (18-12) and 1985 (18-14).
Frank, nicknamed "Sweet Music," was born in East Meadow, N.Y., and attended St. John's University.
He was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, eight-man Class, on June 29, 2015.
Iwanow (pronounced EYE-vuh-no) has been in the Mets organization as Athletic Trainer for 11 seasons (2006-16). She spent two seasons with Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League (2014-15) before joining Las Vegas in 2016. She also spent three seasons (2011-13) as the trainer for Single-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League. Deb also served as trainer for Single-A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League from 2009-10 and rookie-level Kingsport of the Appalachian League for three seasons (2006-08).
She graduated from Ithaca College in 1999 with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science. She also received a Master's in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Sports Psychology from Ithaca College in 2003. Iwanow is a certified athletic trainer by the National Athletic Trainers Association and is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the NSCA.
The 51s will open their 35th season in the Silver State on Thursday, April 6 against the defending PCL champion, the El Paso Chihuahuas, Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The "home opener" will be on Tuesday, April 11 against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, at Cashman Field at 7:05 p.m.
2017 season tickets and mini-plan packages (11, 22, 36-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 943-7200. Individual game tickets for the 71-game home schedule will go on sale in March.
Official licensed 51s team merchandise is available on the "Team Shop" section of the website.