RENO, Nev. – The Reno Aces and 2023 National League champions Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the club’s coaching staff for the 2024 Pacific Coast League season. Following a year where he led the club to a franchise-record 88 wins, Blake Lalli returns for his third season leading the BLC-nine as
RENO, Nev. – The Reno Aces and 2023 National League champions Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the club’s coaching staff for the 2024 Pacific Coast League season. Following a year where he led the club to a franchise-record 88 wins, Blake Lalli returns for his third season leading the BLC-nine as skipper.
Additionally, the Aces have retained the core of last year’s coaching staff with the return of Jeff Bajenaru, Doug Drabek, and Travis Denker, who are set to come back to Greater Nevada Field as pitching and hitting coaches. Shawn Roof is the newest addition to the staff as he enters his first season as Reno’s bench coach following a 2023 Texas League Championship as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate, the Amarillo Sod Poodles.
“We are thrilled to have Blake and a coaching staff featuring key figures return to Reno that helped develop 20 Aces who contributed to the Diamondbacks’ World Series run last year,” said Reno Aces President Eric Edelstein. “We are excited to see these coaches produce the next wave of future big leaguers at Greater Nevada Field following two years that produced a Pacific Coast League title and a new franchise record for wins.”
Trainer Paul Porter, Assistant Trainer Bryan Dunlavey, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Mitchell Ho will all enter their first season as members of the Reno Aces support staff.
Blake Lalli – Manager
Lalli enters his third season as the manager of the Aces and his seventh year within the Diamondbacks organization. Through two seasons as manager of the Aces, he has tallied 158 Triple-A wins and is 42 games above .500 (158-116) against PCL competition. His 12-year playing career included MLB stints with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and Atlanta Braves, where he appeared in 32 games, collecting seven hits and five RBIs.
Jeff Bajenaru – Pitching Coach
Bajenaru, who begins his 14th season within Arizona’s system, returns to oversee the Aces’ arms as one of the club’s pitching coaches for the fourth time in the last six seasons. In 2023, he helped develop seven Reno Aces pitchers who appeared in the World Series for the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his three-year MLB career, he appeared in 14 games and won a World Series ring in 2005 with the Chicago White Sox.
Doug Drabek – Pitching Coach
Drabek returns for his third season in the “Biggest Little City” as one of the club’s pitching coaches, possessing one of the longest resumes in Aces history. Since 2010, the Victoria, Tex. native has been a pitching coach within the Diamondbacks organization. Last season, he saw Reno’s pitching staff earn the most regular season wins in franchise history. The 1990 Cy Young Award winner played with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles. He earned 155 wins and over 1500 strikeouts during his 13 years in the majors.
Travis Denker – Hitting Coach
Denker will embark on his second season at the Triple-A level and sixth overall as a coach within the D-backs organization. Under his guidance last season, the Aces offense led MiLB in six offensive categories: batting average (.303), runs (1043), hits (1570), RBI (984), OBP (.401), and OPS (.877). After being drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003, the southern California native played in the minors with six organizations, including the Diamondbacks.
Shawn Roof – Bench Coach
Roof begins his first season as bench coach for the Reno Aces and ninth within the D-backs organization. He joins Reno’s staff following a six-year stint managing at three levels within Arizona’s farm system, including the previous three years at Double-A Amarillo. Following a selection in the 33rd round of the 2007 MLB Draft, the Louisville, KY native completed a six-year professional career within the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins organizations.
The Reno Aces are slated to open the 2024 season on the road in Las Vegas on Friday, March 29th. They will make their home debut at Greater Nevada Field on Tuesday, April 2nd, hosting the Sacramento River Cats, Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, at 2:05 p.m. PDT.
Season memberships for the 2024 campaign are available via RenoAces.com by texting “MEMBER” to 21003 or calling (775) 334-7000.