GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Milwaukee Brewers have announced that Matt Erickson will return as the manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the 2020 season. Hitting Coach Dave Joppie, Athletic Trainer Jeff Paxson, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Connor McCarthy also return as a part of Erickson's staff. Carson
GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Milwaukee Brewers have announced that Matt Erickson will return as the manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the 2020 season. Hitting Coach Dave Joppie, Athletic Trainer Jeff Paxson, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Connor McCarthy also return as a part of Erickson's staff. Carson Cross is the new Pitching Coach and Jorge Ortega is the new Bullpen Coach for Wisconsin.
Erickson extends his records of years managed in the Midwest League and longest tenure with one Midwest League team with ten. There are four managers tied with seven seasons managed in the MWL: Gomer Hodge (Waterloo 1981-84 and Beloit 1986-88); Don Money (Beloit 1998-2004); Jack Mull (Cedar Rapids 1977-78 and Clinton 1986, 1990-91, and 1993-94); and Steve Roadcap (Peoria 1992-94, Rockford 1995-96, and Wisconsin 1999 and 2004).
The Timber Rattlers have been to the Midwest League playoffs three times under Erickson's direction - 2012, 2014, and 2016. Wisconsin won the 2012 Midwest League Championship. Erickson's regular season record with the Rattlers is 604-644 (.484).
Joppie, a native of Hastings, Michigan, is in his fourth season in the Brewers minor league organization. The 2020 season will be his 25th season in professional baseball. Joppie started in the minor league system of the Oakland Athletics in 1995 and managed and coached in that system through 2005. He joined the Boston Red Sox organization in 2006 and was a hitting coach for many different affiliates there until joining the Brewers system for the 2017 season.
Cross, who was born in Brentwood, New Hampshire, is in his second season as a coach in the Brewers system. He was a developmental coach at Milwaukee's training complex in Arizona last year. Cross went 19-6 in two seasons at the University of Connecticut where he was a college teammate of former Timber Rattlers All-Star catcher Max McDowell. Cross was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 14th round of the 2015 draft and played two seasons for the State College Spikes in the New York-Penn League.
Ortega, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, had been in the Brewers organization as a player from 2011 through 2019. This will be his first season as a coach in the system. Ortega's best season in the minors was in 2015 when he was 9-9 with a 2.41 ERA and just eleven walks in 141-2/3 innings for the Brevard County Manatees in the Florida State League. Ortega was a mid-season and a post-season All-Star in the Florida State League in 2015. He was also the team MVP for the Helena Brewers in 2014. Ortega did not pitch during the 2017 and 2019 seasons.
Paxson has won Athletic Trainer of the Year Awards at various levels in Minor League Baseball multiple times and was the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society National Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2011. He will be in his eleventh season with the Timber Rattlers and his 27th season in the Brewers organization.
McCarthy will enter in his third season in Wisconsin and with the Brewers.
The Timber Rattlers will begin the 2020 season at home against the Burlington Bees on Thursday, April 9. Game time is 6:35pm.
Ticket packages for 2020 are available from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers ticket office by calling any of the new members of our team at (800) WI-TIMBER or (920) 733-4152, stopping at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, or online at timberrattlers.com. April games are free with the purchase any ticket package this year. The ticket office is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.