Rancho Cucamonga, CA - A change in the coaching staff will see the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have their fourth manager in four years, as 2014 skipper P.J. Forbes will not return for the upcoming 2015 season. Instead, Forbes will be succeeded by former major league catcher Bill Haselman.
Forbes, who was scheduled to lead Rancho in 2015, has instead elected to step down from his post with the Quakes and leave the Dodgers' coaching family altogether.
Haselman, who will join the Quakes from the Midwest League's Great Lakes Loons, enters his second year in the Dodgers' system. Last year, he led the Dodgers' Midwest League affiliate to a 66-73 record and helped to keep them in the playoff hunt until the last day of the regular season.
Haselman will be familiar to Quakes' fans, with his coaching career taking him through two other Cal League cities, as he managed in Bakersfield (TEX) in 2010 and then with the Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) in 2012 and a Cal League Pennant-winning season in 2013.
"While we wish P.J. and his family all the best, we now look forward to welcoming Bill Haselman to Rancho Cucamonga," said Quakes Vice President/General Manager Grant Riddle. "We're familiar with Bill from his earlier time in the league and we're excited to get him in a Quakes' jersey and welcome him to the Quakes' family."
A veteran of 589 major league games over 13 seasons, Haselman appeared in the big leagues with Texas, Seattle, Boston and Detroit.
The lone returning coach from last year's staff is hitting coach and former Quake, Mike Eylward. Now entering his second year as hitting coach, Eylward appeared in 109 games for Rancho back in 2003, batting .290 with 13 home runs and 61 runs knocked in. The former Angel farmhand was the hitting coach for the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League in 2013, his first as a Dodger.
Bill Simas will enter his first season as Quakes' pitching coach, as he joins Rancho from Great Lakes of the Midwest League. A veteran of 308 major league games for the Chicago White Sox, Simas finished his big-league career with an 18-19 mark and a 3.83 earned run average, all in relief for the "pale hose". Simas appeared in 27 games with two teams in the Dodgers minor league system back in 2003, but never advanced past Triple-A for Los Angeles in his only year in their system. The 43-year-old enters his fourth year in the Dodgers farm system.
Also joining the Quakes as an unprecedented fourth member to the coaching staff, will be Rafael Ozuna, who will have the title of "assistant coach". A former middle-infielder, Ozuna spent two seasons in the Dodgers' system back in 1995 and 1996. This will be Ozuna's fourth year as a coach with the Dodgers, joining the Quakes from the Dodgers' Dominican Summer League Team.
Jason Kirkman will be the Quakes' new athletic trainer and Lauren Green will be Rancho's new strength and conditioning coach, rounding out the complete staff.
It's going to be an "All-Star Season" at LoanMart Field, as the Quakes will host the 2015 California/Carolina League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 23rd. The Quakes will open the 2015 campaign on the road in Bakersfield, on April 9th, with the Quakes' home-opener at LoanMart Field scheduled for a week later, on Thursday, April 16th, as the Quakes host the Lake Elsinore Storm. Ticket packages are currently available by calling (909) 481-5000. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field very soon…GO Quakes!