The Palm Beach Cardinals return for the 2019 season with many familiar faces on the coaching staff. The Cardinals will look to reach the playoffs for the third consecutive year once the 2019 Florida State League seasons begins on Thursday, April 4th against the Hammerheads.
Returning to manage Palm Beach is Dann Bilardello. This will be the fourth season the California native takes charge of the St. Louis Cardinals Advanced-A Affiliate. The eight-year MLB veteran will enter his 13th year as manager and 14th season total in the St. Louis organization. In three years under Bilardello, Palm Beach had a 225-181 record which included a 2017 Florida State League Co-Championship. In 2015 & 2016, between his two stints with Palm Beach, Bilardello managed Double-A Springfield which included a playoff appearance in 2016. His managerial career began back in 2002 with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization when he won the Rookie League Championship with Great Falls. He served as Minor League Catching Coordinator during the Cardinals' 2006 World Series Championship season. He was named Florida State League Manager of the Year for the 2018 season.
In his playing days, Bilardello spent time with the Reds, Expos, Pirates and Padres while appearing in 382 total games and recorded over 1,000 at bats. He had a .988 career fielding percentage and didn't commit a single error in his final 272 innings played.
Will Ohman will also return to Palm Beach for the 2019 season, his second season in Jupiter, Florida and in the Cardinals' organization. In 2018, Palm Beach finished fifth in the Florida State League in WHIP (1.29), fourth in strikeouts, and had the second most wins in the league. Of the 11 pitchers on the Opening Day roster that pitched through at least May, eight reached Double-A with three others reaching Triple-A before the season concluded.
The southpaw pitched for 10 seasons with six different teams. He holds a career 4.28 ERA with a 1.36 WHIP while striking out 8.6 batters per nine innings. He made his MLB debut in 2000 with the Cubs and concluded his career in 2012 on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox.
With 2018 hitting coach Brandon Allen being moved to Double-A Springfield for the upcoming season, Palm Beach will bring in Tyger Pederson as the team's hitting coach for the upcoming season. Pederson was drafted in the 33rd round in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers and played in the Rookie level Arizona League that season. His brother, Joc Pedersen, is currently an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Most recently, the Palo Alto native served as Head Coach of the Collegiate Summer Northwoods League Duluth Huskies. With Pederson, the Huskies went 47-25, their best record in team history, a span of 16 years.
Certified Athletic Trainer Chris Whitman is entering his fifth year in the Cardinals organization and second consecutive season with Palm Beach.
Strength and Conditioning coach Ross Hasegawa will also return for another season with the Palm Brach Cardinals.
Tickets for the upcoming season and 2019 Florida State League All-Star Game being held in Jupiter can be found at rogerdeanchevroletstadium.com/tickets-events.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.