MISSOULA, MONT. -The Missoula Osprey, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, announced today that former Osprey manager Audo Vicente will return to manage the team again in 2014. Vicente will be joined by former Major Leaguers Rob Ducey as Hitting Coach and Jeff Bajenaru as Pitching Coach. Vicente managed the Osprey for two seasons in 2008 and 2009. Ducey, who was recently inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, will be in his first season with the Diamondbacks and Osprey. Bajenaru has been with the Arizona organization since 2011 as the Pitching Coach for the Diamondback's Rookie team in the Arizona League.
Audo Vicente started his managing career with Missoula and spent two seasons (2008 and 2009) with the Osprey. In 2009, he led them to the playoffs and came within one win of winning the Pioneer League Championship. That 2009 team has produced six Major League players so far with more close to making it in the coming seasons. Those six players include Paul Goldschmidt, Ender Inciarte, Chris Owings, Charles Brewer, Mike Belfiore, and Eury De La Rosa. Due to this success, Vicente was promoted to Visalia in the California League for the 2010 season. He has managed the Hillsboro franchise for the Diamondbacks for past three seasons (2011-2013). Vicente is known for his work with the younger players and will be a welcome return to Missoula in 2014. Last year's Osprey manager Robby Hammock has been promoted to manage Visalia in the California League.
There will be plenty of professional baseball experience joining Vicente in the Missoula Osprey dugout this season as he has former Major League players Rob Ducey and Jeff Bajenaru on his coaching staff.
Rob Ducey joins the Diamondbacks this season and will be the Missoula Osprey Hitting Coach. Ducey had a 19-year professional career which included a 14-year Major League career with the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Montreal Expos. Ducey, an outfielder during his career, hit .242 with 31 homeruns in 703 Major League games. Born in Ontario, Canada, Ducey was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame alongside Tim Raines and George Bell this past summer. Ducey played for Team Canada as a designated hitter in the 2004 Summer Olympics and was a coach for Team Canada in the 2008 Summer Games. He is also only one of four, and was the first, Canadian to have played for both the Toronto and Montreal franchises in his Major League career.
Jeff Bajenaru enters his 4th season with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a coach. For the past three years, he has been the pitching coach for the Arizona Rookie League Diamondbacks. Bajenaru played parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues and won a 2005 World Series ring with the Chicago White Sox. The pitcher was with Chicago in 2004 and 2005 before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006. He pitched for the Diamondbacks in 2006 at the Major League level before arm injuries ended his career.
"We are excited to have Audo rejoin our Osprey family for the 2014 season," said Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis. "Audo is a great teacher and works well with the young players on our roster. All one has to do is look at the job he did with our 2009 Osprey team to see his value as a manager. I know he loves Missoula and is excited to be coming back."
"When you add Rob Ducey and Jeff Bajenaru to our coaching staff, we end up with a good mix of experience on this coaching staff," continued Ellis. "Rob had a long Major League career and will be a great role model and mentor to our young players. Jeff is well respected in the Dbacks organization and will have worked with many of our pitchers prior to coming to Missoula. This is a solid coaching staff and we are very pleased to welcome them to the Osprey community this summer."
Audo Vicente is currently managing Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League and has them in 1st place with two games remaining in the regular season. Former Osprey Wilkin Castillo is on his roster. Escogido has already clinched a playoff spot but can claim the regular season title with a win tonight.
Sean Light will return as the team's Strength & Conditioning Coach. This will be Light's 2nd season with the Osprey. Light is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, specializing in training elite level baseball players. Light is a 2010 graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut where he was a three year letter winner as a member of the Bobcat Division I college basketball team. Previously, Light has spent time working with the New York Yankees and the Quinnipiac University Strength and Conditioning Department.
The Osprey will welcome a new Athletic Trianer Jeremy Fradin to Missoula. Last year's Athletic Trainer Paul Porter was promoted to Visalia.
The Osprey influence is evident throughout the D-backs minor league system. In addition to Hammock managing Visalia, former Osprey coaches Andy Green (AA Mobile) and JR House (A Hillsboro) will be managers. In addition, former Osprey player Luis Urueta, returns as the manager of the Arizona League D-backs. Former Osprey pitching coaches Wellington Cepeda (AA Mobile), Gil Heredia (A Visalia), and Doug Bochtler (A South Bend) will remain pitching coaches in the Diamondbacks system. Former Osprey pitching coach Dan Carlson will serve as the Dbacks Minor League Pitching Coordinator replacing former Osprey Mel Stottlemyre Jr. who will serve as Arizona's Major League Bullpen Coach. Former Osprey manager Tony Perezchica has been promoted to Field/Infield Coordinator for the Diamondbacks and former Osprey pitcher and coach Hatuey "Chewy" Mendoza returns as the Latin Liaison.
The 2014 version of the Osprey will open the season on Monday, June 16th in Helena against the Brewers. The Osprey home opener will be Thursday, June 19th against the Great Falls Voyagers. Season tickets are now on sale at the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins, by phone at (406) 543-3300 or online at MissoulaOsprey.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.