PawSox Announce Coaching Staff for 2018

Manager Kevin Boles Returns for his 5th Season as PawSox Skipper Hitting Coach Rich Gedman and Coach Bruce Crabbe Also Back on Staff Pitching Coach Kevin Walker Promoted from Portland to Pawtucket

(L-R) Kevin Boles, Kevin Walker, Bruce Crabbe, and Rich Gedman

By Pawtucket Red Sox | January 9, 2018 2:59 PM

The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Boston Red Sox are pleased to announce that Kevin Boles will return as PawSox manager for his 5th season in 2018 and will once again be joined by hitting coach Rich Gedman and coach Bruce Crabbe who are back for their 4th and 5th seasons respectively in Pawtucket. The clubs also announced today that former Portland (AA) pitching coach Kevin Walker has been promoted to that same role with Pawtucket for 2018. Bob Kipper, the PawSox pitching coach since 2015, will now be the pitching coach for the Greenville Drive (the Red Sox Single-A affiliate in Greenville, SC).

Additionally, athletic trainer Eric Velazquez is back for his second year on the PawSox staff while Kirby Retzer returns for his third season as PawSox strength and conditioning coach.

 

Kevin Boles, who will turn 43 on January 16, will begin his fifth season as PawSox manager in 2018 and his 11th year in the Red Sox organization (all as a manager in the system). Boles' tenure will be the third longest in Pawtucket franchise-history behind only Joe Morgan (9 years) & Buddy Bailey (7 seasons), and tied with Ron Johnson (5 years).

 

Kevin won his 1,000th game as a Minor League manager on August 15, 2016 when the PawSox defeated host Lehigh Valley, 5-1. He is 1,076-1,079 during his 17-year managerial career (2000-2001 and 2003-2017). Boles is 279-293 during his four seasons with the PawSox. His 2014 PawSox captured the Governors' Cup Championship in his debut season at the Triple-A level.

 

Kevin and his wife Marnie live in Melbourne, FL during the off-season. His father John was the manager of the Florida Marlins in 1996 and from 1999-2001.

 

New PawSox pitching coach Kevin Walker, 41, spent the past three seasons in that same role with the Portland Sea Dogs (AA). 2018 will mark his first season at the Triple-A level and his 10th as a coach in the Red Sox system.

 

Prior to joining the Sea Dogs in 2015, Walker spent four seasons as the pitching coach for the Salem Red Sox (high-A). In addition, he was the pitching coach for Greenville (low-A) in 2010 and short-season Lowell in 2009.

 

During his time in the Boston system, Kevin has coached current Red Sox pitchers such as Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Robby Scott, and Brian Johnson.

 

A left-handed pitcher, Walker pitched six seasons in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres (2000-2003), San Francisco Giants (2004) and Chicago White Sox (2005). In 122 big league games, Walker had a career record of 7-3 with a 4.76 ERA. A 6th round selection of San Diego in the 1995 draft, the Texas native saw his first major league action with the Padres in 2000 going 7-1 with a 4.19 ERA in a career-high 70 relief appearances. His 14-year pro pitching career ended with stints in the Texas (2006) and Colorado (2007) minor league systems.

 

Kevin and his wife, Aimee, live in Holtville, CA with their daughter, Kamryn (13), and son, Brady (12).

 

Rich Gedman, 58, returns for his fourth season as PawSox hitting coach and his 8th year as a coach in the Red Sox system. He was promoted from the Portland Sea Dogs (AA), where he held the same role, to Pawtucket in 2015.

 

The PawSox improved their Team Batting average 16 points from 2015 (.238) to 2016 (.254) and continued to go up with a .258 average in 2017. In 2017, OF Bryce Brentz became just the 7th player in PawSox history to hit 30 or more HR in a season as his 31 homers led the International League and his 85 RBI were 4th most. OF Rusney Castillo led the team with a .314 batting average.


A Worcester, MA native, Gedman played for Boston for 11 seasons from 1980-1990. In 906 career games with the Red Sox he hit .259 with 83 HR & 356 RBI. He is 4th in Red Sox history with 858 games caught behind only Jason Varitek, Carlton Fisk, and Sammy Walton.

 

Bruce Crabbe, who will turn 56 in February, will begin his fifth season as a coach on the PawSox staff. He was the manager of the Lowell Spinners (Boston's short-A affiliate) in 2012 and 2013 (along with 2006 & 2010) and he spent the 2011 season as skipper of the Salem Red Sox (high-A).

 

Bruce has been in the Red Sox organization for the past 12 years. His tenure with the Red Sox began in 2005 when he was the hitting coach for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (A). He was Boston's minor league infield coordinator from 2007-2009.

 

From 1995-97, Bruce was a coach and the director of player development for the Colorado Silver Bullets, a professional women's baseball team. He returned to Minor League Baseball as a manager, infield instructor, and batting coach in the Texas Rangers system from 1998 to 2004.

 

Eric Velazquez is back for his second season as PawSox athletic trainer. He made his PawSox debut in 2017 when he replaced long-time Pawtucket trainer Jon Jochim who had been with the club for seven seasons since 2010. Jochim was promoted to Boston as their assistant athletic trainer in 2017. Velazquez spent 2016 as trainer for Double-A Portland, his only year with the Sea Dogs. Prior to that he had been the trainer for the former Savannah Sand Gnats, at the time the New York Mets Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, in 2014 & 2015.

 

Eric began his career in 2010 as the head athletic trainer for the Mets Dominican Republic Academy. He also served as the Mets Latin American Medical Coordinator (2011) and as the trainer for the Mets Short-A team the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2012 & 2013.

            

Kirby Retzer will return his third season as PawSox Strength and Conditioning coach. He previously served in the same capacity for the Gulf Coast Twins (Rookie League) in 2014 & 2015. Prior to his time in the Twins organization, Kirby interned for the Red Sox under current Boston strength and conditioning coach Mike Roose. He also interned with former Red Sox strength and conditioning consultant Mike Boyle in 2015. 
 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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