A new sheriff in town; Alguacil to helm 2016 River Cats

Alguacil joined by new hitting coach Damon Minor, returning pitching coach Dwight Bernard

By Sacramento River Cats | December 15, 2015 12:10 PM

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento River Cats are excited to announce their field staff for the 2016 season.

At the helm and making his Triple-A managerial debut is José Alguacil. Joining him are Hitting Coach Damon Minor and returning Pitching Coach Dwight Bernard. LJ Petra returns as the team's Athletic Trainer while new Strength and Conditioning Coach Adam Vish rounds out the club's 2016 field staff. 

A Venezuelan native, Alguacil (pronounced "All-gwah-seal" and which translates to "sheriff" in English) joins the River Cats after one season with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. During the 2015 campaign with Richmond, Alguacil, otherwise known as "Auggie," led the Squirrels to a 72-68 (.514) record and a third place finish in the Eastern League's Western Division.

Alguacil, 43, made his managerial debut last season with the 2015 Richmond Flying Squirrels. Prior to managing the Squirrels, he worked as a Roving Instructor for eight seasons with the San Francisco Giants. Alguacil also served as the organization's Coordinator of Infield Instruction during the 2014 season. The former infielder began his coaching career in 2002 with the Montreal Expos, also as a minor league instructor, and coached briefly at the Major League level with the Washington Nationals toward the end of the 2005 season.

As a player, Alguacil spent nine seasons - from 1993 to 2001 - in the Minor Leagues. Primarily an infielder, Alguacil played mostly in the Giants organization, but reached Triple-A with the White Sox in 2000.

Minor, 41, joins the River Cats after five consecutive seasons with the New Orleans Zephyrs. During his time with New Orleans, Minor oversaw an offense that averaged a .260 batting average and more than 120 home runs a season, including a franchise-best 153 homers in 2012.

Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1996, Minor made his Major League debut in 2000. In 136 games over parts of four seasons, Minor hit .232 with 13 home runs. He set a career-high in 2002 when he played in 83 games and slugged 10 home runs, helping the Giants claim the National League pennant. While in the Giants farm system, Minor compiled a .277 batting average with 179 home runs and 648 RBI across nine seasons.

Returning for his second season with the River Cats, Bernard will again take the reins as Pitching Coach. In his first season with Sacramento, Bernard coached the River Cats staff to a franchise-best single season ERA (3.85), good enough for third in the Pacific Coast League. Under Bernard's tutelage, starter Clayton Blackburn became the first River Cats pitcher to take home the PCL ERA title with a 2.85 earned run average.

A Mount Vernon, Ill., native, Bernard was drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1974 amateur draft and reached the majors with the club in 1978. He was traded to Milwaukee and in 1982 pitched an inning of Game 6 of the World Series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals before being released the following spring. Bernard spent two seasons in the Houston Astros farm system and ended his playing career with the Baltimore Orioles in 1985. He has been a pitching coach with various organizations since 1986, including the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers in addition to the Giants.

Petra enters his eighth consecutive season in the Giants organization and second as Athletic Trainer in Sacramento. The University of Connecticut graduate was a member of the 2015 River Cats field staff after spending the 2014 season in Fresno. Prior, Petra was with Double-A Richmond for two seasons (2012-13), and both Augusta (2009) and San Jose (2011) for one season each. Before joining the Giants organization, Petra spent 2007-08 as the assistant athletic trainer and head strength and condition coach for the Bowie Baysox, Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Vish starts his fourth season in the Giants organization as a Strength and Condition Coach. Entering his sixth season in professional baseball, Vish previously worked in the Kansas City Royals minor league system during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was named the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year for the Carolina League (Advanced A) in 2012 and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh's Master of Science (MS), Exercise and Human Physiology program.


The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the 2014 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2016 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.

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

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