CLEVELAND, OH - The Cleveland Indians today announced the organizational staff alignment within the Player Development System for the upcoming season.
Three of the Tribe's four full-season affiliates will feature different managers from the previous campaign, with the lone exception CHRIS TREMIE returning for his second season as skipper of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Former Tribe farmhands DAVID WALLACE and SCOOTER TUCKER, both of whom managed a Tribe affiliate last season, will keep their respective coaching staffs intact and advance a level within the system. Wallace will shift from Single-A Advanced Carolina to Double-A Akron, while Tucker will take over for Wallace in Zebulon after managing Lake County in 2013. Another former Tribe minor leaguer, MARK BUDZINSKI, will make his professional coaching debut in 2014 as manager of the Lake County Captains.
Budzinski and RIGO BELTRAN highlight new additions within the club's Player Development coaching ranks. Beltran pitched professionally over 15 seasons from 1991-2006, including 78 Major League games from 1997-2004. Also, LUIS ORTIZ has been promoted to Assistant Field Coordinator after joining the Indians organization in 2013 as Cultural Development/Lower-Level Hitting Coordinator. MARK ALLEN will serve as the Pitching Coach for the Rookie Arizona club over the summer while continuing his role as Area Scout in North Texas and Oklahoma prior to the draft. EDWIN RODRIGUEZ shifts to Special Assistant to Baseball Operations. In his new role, Rodriguez will use his experiences as a manger, coach and scout to impact all areas of the Player Development system, with an emphasis on infield play and Latin American player plans and transitions.
Tremie, 44, returns for his second consecutive season at the helm of the Columbus Clippers after leading the Tribe's Triple-A affiliate to a 71-73 (.493) record in 2013. The native of Houston, Texas has managed at every level in the Indians farm system and is set to begin his 9th season in the organization. In 2012, he led the Akron Aeros to the 2012 Eastern League title after guiding the club to a regular season record of 82-59 (.582). TONY ARNOLD will return as the Clippers Pitching Coach as he begins his 22nd season as a coach in the Indians Player Development System, while Hitting Coach JIM RICKON will join Tremie's staff after spending 2013 with the Double-A Akron Aeros.
Wallace, 34, will serve as manager in the inaugural season for the Akron RubberDucks after leading the Single-A Advanced Carolina Mudcats in 2013. Wallace was a staff assistant for the Major League club in 2009-10 and managed the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Lake County Captains (2011-12) before joining the Mudcats last season. A native of Nashville, TN, Wallace spent 6 years as a catcher in the Indians organization from 2002-07. The RubberDucks coaching staff will be rounded out by Pitching Coach JEFF HARRIS and Hitting Coach ROUGLAS ODOR.
Tucker, 47, will take the reins in Zebulon, NC and lead the Tribe's Single-A Advanced Carolina Mudcats in his 3rd year in the professional coaching ranks. The former Major League catcher made his coaching debut as a Hitting Coach for the Mudcats in 2012 and served as the Manager of the Lake County Captains last season. Tucker will be joined by his 2012 Lake County coaching staff as TONY MANSOLINO will serve as Hitting Coach, and former Indians reliever STEVE KARSAY will act as Pitching Coach.
Budzinski, 40, is set to make his professional coaching debut at the helm of the Lake County Captains in 2014. Budzinski was drafted by the Indians in the 21st round of the 1995 draft and played 7 years in the Indians ranks (1995-2001) before spending time in the Cubs, Brewers, Reds and Phillies organizations before retiring in 2005. The former outfielder was a member of the United States team in the 2001 Baseball Word Cup, and made his Major League debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2003. RIGO BELTRAN will serve as the Pitching Coach for the Captains after spending 7 seasons as a coach in the Reds organization and SHAUN LARKIN will shift from Mahoning Valley to serve as Hitting Coach.