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Yankees Set 2020 Thunder Coaching Staff

January 27, 2020

The Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance, in conjunction with the New York Yankees are pleased to announce the 2020 Coaching Staff for the defending Eastern League Champions.Julio Mosquera takes over as Manager after spending the last two seasons as Manager with the Class-A Charleston Riverdogs. His staff includes Pitching Coach Travis Phelps,

2020Staff
The Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance, in conjunction with the New York Yankees are pleased to announce the 2020 Coaching Staff for the defending Eastern League Champions.

Julio Mosquera takes over as Manager after spending the last two seasons as Manager with the Class-A Charleston Riverdogs. His staff includes Pitching Coach Travis Phelps, Hitting Coach Ken Joyce, Defensive Coach Caonabo Cosme, Defensive Coach Jose Javier , Athletic Trainer Jimmy Downam, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Danny Russo.

Mosquera led the Riverdogs to a 73-66 record in 2019, the second-best overall mark in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division. The 2020 campaign will mark Mosquera's 15th season as a coach with the New York Yankees. Prior to his two-year stint in the Holy City, Mosquera led short-season Single-A Staten Island to a first place finish in the NYPL McNamara Division with a 46-29 record in 2017, the club's highest win total since 2009. The Panama City, Panama native earned his first managerial experience in 2015 and 2016 with the GCL Yankees 1 and GCL Yankees West. Following a 15-year playing career behind the plate, Mosquera spent nine seasons (2006-14) as the Catching Coordinator for the organization.

Mosquera's playing career began in 1991 when the Toronto Blue Jays signed him as a non-drafted free agent and he quickly climbed the ranks of the minor league system reaching the majors on August 17, 1996 at the age of 24. Mosquera played 11 total major league games across the 1996 and '97 campaigns and one game with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005. Mosquera's career eventually took him to five other organizations including the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1999), New York Yankees (2000-01), Texas Rangers (2002, 2004), Seattle Mariners (2003), and Milwaukee Brewers (2005).

Pitching Coach Travis Phelps joins the Thunder after four seasons as Pitching Coach for short-season Single-A Staten Island. A native of Rocky Comfort, Missouri, Phelps was the 89th overall selection in the 1996 draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out of Crowder College (Mo.) and played three major league seasons with Tampa Bay (2001-02) and the Milwaukee Brewers (2004) going 3-5 with a 4.34 ERA and five saves over 79 relief appearances. Phelps' playing career spanned 11 seasons with the Devil Rays, Braves, Brewers, Rockies, Cubs, Reds and Astos organizations and two seasons in independent baseball. After his playing career, Phelps spent three seasons as the Head Coach for St. Petersburg H.S. in Florida (2011-2014) and operated a baseball training facility in the Tampa Bay area before joining the Yankees. Phelps has overseen outstanding success at Staten Island over the last four seasons. The 2019 SI Yankees finished second in the league in strikeouts (713) and second in shutouts (11) on their way to a 40-36 record. In 2018, SI logged an organization-low 2.60 ERA and led the New York-Penn League in ERA in 2017 with a 2.64 ERA; which led U.S.-based minor league teams and represented the team's best ERA since 2009 (2.53).

Hitting Coach Ken Joyce joins the Thunder for his fourth season as a coach in the Yankees organization. Joyce spent the previous two seasons as the Hitting Coach at Staten Island and one season at Charleston. 2020 will mark Joyce's 25th season as a minor league coach or manager following seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants (2010-16), eight seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (2002-09), and six seasons with the Florida Marlins (1994-99). An Eastern League veteran, Joyce has coached for the Portland Sea Dogs (Bullpen Coach, 1994-95), New Hampshire Fisher Cats (2007-08) and Richmond Flying Squirrels (2011-16). A native of Portland, Maine, Joyce graduated from the University of Southern Maine where he played in the 1985 NAIA College World Series and later served as an assistant coach for four seasons, including a trip to the 1989 Division-III College World Series. Joyce set an NCAA record with seven hits in a game during his playing career and is a member of the USM Hall of Fame and State of Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Defensive Coach Caonabo Cosme joins the Thunder after two seasons as the Manager for the DSL Yankees. Cosme spent 13 seasons as an infielder with Oakland, St. Louis, New York, Cincinnati and Detroit reaching AAA in four seasons. Cosme combined to play 26 games for the Thunder across the 2004 and 2006 campaigns batting .247 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs and eight runs batted in. He becomes the fourth former player in franchise history to later return as a coach joining Justin Pope, P.J. Pilittere and Tim Norton. Following his playing career, Cosme spent six seasons coaching with the Yankees from 2010-15 working as a Hitting Coach in the GCL and DSL. Cosme spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons working as a scout for the Atlanta Braves.

Defensive Coach Jose Javier spent the 2019 season as the Lower Level Outfield/Baserunning/Bunting Coordinator. Javier played six seasons with the New York Yankees beginning in 2010 and reached Single-A Charleston during the 2015 season. Known as one of the speedier infielders in the organization, Javier stole 56 bases across 278 career minor league games and batted .250 while playing all four infield positions. Following his playing career, Javier worked under former Thunder Manager Patrick Osborn during the 2018 season as Defensive Coach for Single-A Tampa and the 2017 campaign as Defensive Coach for Single-A Charleston.

Athletic Trainer Jimmy Downam returns to Trenton for his fourth season and eighth overall with the Yankees. A native of Somers Point, NJ, Downam spent the 2014-16 seasons with the Charleston RiverDogs and the 2013 campaign with Staten Island. Downam joined the Yankees after one season as an intern with the Philadelphia Phillies organization at the team's rehabilitation facility in Clearwater, Fla. A 2009 and 2012 graduate of Liberty University, Downam resides in Tampa, Fla.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Danny Russo joins the Thunder after spending the 2019 season in the same role for Single-A Charleston. Russo spent two seasons with the Riverdogs and has also made stops at Staten Island (2016-17), Pulaski (2015) and the GCL Yankees 2 (2014). A 2013 graduate of the University of South Florida, Russo earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.


Rounding out the staff for 2020 is Clubhouse Manager Harris Seletsky, Video Manager Kurt Bathelt and Advance Scouting Analyst Taylor Emanuels.

The 2020 season at ARM & HAMMER Park will commence on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00pm when the Thunder host the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals). For more information on Thunder baseball visit 
www.TrentonThunder.com or call 609-394-3300. 

 
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