Jupiter, FL. - The St. Louis Cardinals officially released their 2018 minor league coaching staff, bringing changes to the reigning Florida State League Co-Champions. Palm Beach finished the 2017 season with a record of 74-60.
Headlining the list of notable returnees is Dann Bilardello, who enters his third season and second in a row as Manager of the Cardinals. Bilardello said, "I'm looking forward to our new staff and players that will be in Palm Beach this year. The entire staff will be dedicated to making the players better and competitive game after game. I'm excited for a new challenge for the 2018 season."
The Florida native is entering his 13th season as a minor league manager and 9th in the Cardinals organization. After a 2014 stint with Palm Beach, he was brought up as the Springfield (AA) Manager and spent the 2015-2016 seasons there, before coming back to the Cardinals in 2017. Bilardello previously managed in the Red Sox and Dodgers minor league systems for four seasons. The former major league catcher also spent eight seasons with Cincinnati (1983-85), Montreal (1986), Pittsburgh (1889-90) and San Diego (1991-92).
The pitching and hitting coaches will be new faces for Palm Beach entering the 2018 campaign. Will Ohman begins his first season as the Pitching Coach for the Cardinals. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he attended Pepperdine University before being selected in the eighth round of the MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs. The lefty pitcher played five seasons for the Chicago Cubs, while also recording six seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Florida (Miami) Marlins and Chicago White Sox. Former Pitching Coach, Randy Niemann, is moving into a new role as a pitching instructor.
Brandon Allen replaces Erick Almonte as Hitting Coach in 2018. This will be Allen's first season with Palm Beach, but second season overall with the organization. The Texas native played 13 years professionally, while four of those came with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.
Athletic Trainer, Chris Whitman, enters his second year in the organization and first season with the Cardinals. He spent 2017 with the State College Spikes (short season Single-A).
Finalizing the staff is Strength and Conditioning Coach, Ross Hawegawa, who begins his first season with the organization.
About Jupiter Stadium, LTD: Opened in 1998, this $28 million complex/stadium is specially designed to house two Major League and two Minor League Baseball Teams. The stadium is home to the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals for Spring Training. The Florida State League's Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A Advanced Affiliate of the Miami Marlins) and Palm Beach Cardinals (Class A Advanced Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) make their home at Roger Dean Stadium from April through September. This year round facility can accommodate the smallest birthday party to the largest corporate outing, while never forgetting that each and every fan is our most important product.