Flying Squirrels Announce 2013 Field Staff

Machemer Returns to Guide Richmond for Third Season

By Richmond Flying Squirrels | January 2, 2013 4:13 AM

RICHMOND, VA - The Richmond Flying Squirrels, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants, have announced their field staff for the 2013 Eastern League season. The staff will be led by Manager Dave Machemer, who returns to Richmond after guiding the Squirrels in each of the last two seasons, including winning the 2011 Eastern League Western Division Championship.

The core of Machemer's staff will remain in place as both Pitching Coach Ross Grimsley and Hitting Coach Ken Joyce will also return. Grimsley has been the only Pitching Coach in the Squirrels' short history, and 2013 will mark his fourth season with the team. Joyce joined the Squirrels' staff in 2011, and returns for his third season in the river city.

"We feel extremely blessed to continue our great relationship with Mac and his entire staff," said Flying Squirrels' Vice President & COO Todd "Parney" Parnell. "Their collective knowledge of the game is second to none and ensures that the Richmond community will always be well represented on the field. Their love of, and willingness to positively impact our community also is something we are extremely grateful to the Giants for again providing us."

Athletic Trainer L.J. Petra also returns for his second year with the Squirrels. The only newcomer on the 2013 Field Staff will be Strength & Conditioning Coach Brad Lawson, who joins Richmond after serving in the same capacity with the Augusta GreenJackets in 2012.

Flying Squirrels' Field Staffs to Date:


Manager: Dave Machemer Pitching Coach: Ross Grimsley Hitting Coach: Ken Joyce Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brad Lawson Athletic Trainer: LJ Petra


Manager: Dave Machemer Pitching Coach: Ross Grimsley Hitting Coach: Ken Joyce Strength & Conditioning Coach: Jim Bose Athletic Trainer: LJ Petra


Manager: Dave Machemer Pitching Coach: Ross Grimsley Hitting Coach: Ken Joyce Strength & Conditioning Coach: Garrett Sherrill Athletic Trainer: Eric Ortega


Manager: Andy Skeels Pitching Coach: Ross Grimsley Hitting Coach: Russ Morman Strength & Conditioning Coach: Abe Gonzalez Athletic Trainer: Eric Ortega

Machemer, a veteran skipper, will spend his ninth season as an instructor in the Giants organization in 2013. The Squirrels went 70-71 in 2012, and the team has posted a 146-137 record in his two seasons at the helm. He led the Squirrels to a 76-66 regular season record in 2011, and a wild-card berth in the post-season. The Squirrels then swept the Harrisburg Senators for the Western Division title and advanced to the Eastern League Championship Series. He also recorded his 1,500th win during a memorable 2011 campaign, and now stands at 1,571 wins over the course of 22 seasons as a minor league manager. Prior to Richmond, he spent the previous two campaigns as the manager of the Augusta GreenJackets (A) of the South Atlantic League. Prior to the Giants, Machemer also served as a minor league manager or coordinator with the Baltimore Orioles (1996-2002), Montreal Expos (1992-95) and Milwaukee Brewers (1985-91).

Grimsley returns for a fourth season as the Flying Squirrels Pitching Coach in 2013. In 2012, Grimsley's staff boasted both the right-handed (Chris Heston) and left-handed (Mike Kickham) starting pitcher on the Eastern League Post-Season All-Star team. Additionally, Heston was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and claimed the EL ERA title, marking the second consecutive season a Squirrels' hurler had done so (Eric Surkamp). In 2011, his pitching staff led the Eastern League with a team-ERA of 3.46 and tied for the fewest runs allowed (557). 2013 also marks his 14th season as an instructor in the Giants' system, and fifth consecutive at the Double-A level. He was also the pitching coach for the Squirrels' predecessor, the Connecticut Defenders, in 2009. His association with the Giants began in 1999. Prior to joining San Francisco, Grimsley also served as an instructor with the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies. As a left-handed hurler, he pitched 11 Major League seasons, compiling 124 wins. He pitched in three League Championship Series (1972, 1973, 1974), the World Series (1972) and an All-Star Game (1978).

Joyce will spend his third season with the Squirrels in 2013 and fourth overall in the San Francisco system. He served in the same capacity with the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA) in his first season with the Giants in 2010 before joining the Squirrels in 2011. Prior to joining the Giants, he spent eight seasons (2002-09) with the Toronto Blue Jays in a variety of roles. He was the Hitting Coach at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2009 and held the same job with Double-A New Hampshire in both 2007 and 2008. Joyce was also a manager in the Blue Jays' system at the Single-A level from 2004 to 2006. He also served as an instructor in the Florida Marlins' chain for six seasons (1994-99).

Lawson becomes the fourth Strength & Conditioning Coach that the Squirrels will have had in four seasons in Richmond. He replaces Jim Bose, who will join former Squirrels' Athletic Trainer Eric Ortega and Hitting Coach Russ Morman with the Fresno Grizzlies in 2013. Lawson spent 2012 with the Augusta GreenJackets.

Petra begins his second season as Richmond's athletic trainer and his fifth year in the Giants organization. Prior to joining Richmond, Petra served as Athletic Trainer for the Augusta GreenJackets in 2009 and San Jose Giants from 2010-2011. Petra also spent two seasons as Assistant Athletic Trainer and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Bowie Baysox, Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, between 2007 and 2008 . Petra received a B.S. in Sports Medicine from the University of Connecticut in 2004. He has certifications with the National Athletic Trainers Association and National Strength and Conditioning Association. L.J. and his wife Carly have relocated to Richmond full-time, and currently make their home in Shockhoe Bottom.

Machemer and Grimsley will be on hand for the Flying Squirrels 3rd Annual Hot Stove Banquet on January 31st. Tickets are currently on sale for the event and can be purchased by calling the Squirrels Ticket Office at (804) 359-3866. Season tickets for the 2013 season of Flying Squirrels baseball are also currently available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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

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