NORWICH, CT - The Connecticut Tigers, Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, announced their 2014 coaching staff Wednesday.
Mike Rabelo takes over as Manager of the Tigers after spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons as Hitting Coach for the club. Rabelo previously spent the 2011 season as the Hitting Coach for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, his first professional coaching assignment. After being selected by the Tigers in the fourth round in June of 2001, Rabelo spent ten seasons in professional baseball and time in the Major Leagues with Detroit (2006-2007) and Florida (2008).
"Mike Rabelo is a talented young man with a very good baseball mind. He has done a great job as Hitting Coach and we are confident in his ability as he moves into his role as Manager," said Detroit Tigers Director of Player Development Dave Owen.
"I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to take the next step with a great organization like the Tigers," said Rabelo. "We have a tremendous staff in place in Connecticut with Mark Johnson, Scott Dwyer, and Randy Brunner. I speak for all of them when I say we can't wait to get started and play under the lights at Dodd Stadium in front of our fans. I wish the season started tomorrow."
Mark Johnson returns for his second season as Pitching Coach in Norwich. Johnson spent the 2008-2012 seasons as Pitching Coach with the West Michigan Whitecaps (Class A) before taking over as Pitching Coach of the Connecticut Tigers for the 2013 season. Johnson also served as Pitching Coach of the Oneonta Tigers in 2007. A first-round selection by the Houston Astros in June of 1996, Johnson pitched nine seasons with the Astros, Marlins, Yankees, Tigers, Brewers, and Dodgers organizations.
The Hitting Coach for the Tigers in 2014 will be Scott Dwyer. Dwyer returns after spending the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Norwich and the 2012 and 2013 seasons in the same position for the West Michigan Whitecaps (Class A). Dwyer was selected by the Cleveland Indians out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, FL, in the eighth round in June of 1977.
Joining the Connecticut staff for the first time in 2014 will be Athletic Trainer Randy Brunner. 2014 will mark Brunner's third season in the Detroit Tigers organization, having served as Athletic Trainer for the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2013 and as an athletic training intern with the organization in 2012.
The Connecticut Tigers are the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play a 76 game schedule that runs from mid June through early September. 2014 season tickets, mini plans, and team merchandise are now on sale! The front office and ticket office is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be accessed in person or by calling 860-887-7962.