ST. LOUIS, MO., January 18, 2019 –The St. Louis Cardinals announced today their 2019 minor league coaching staffs for their affiliate teams in addition to their player development and medical personnel for the upcoming season. The Cardinals Farm System finished 6th among all teams in overall winning pct. (.534; 401-350) in 2018, as Memphis won its second-consecutive Pacific Coast League (AAA) title and also the Triple-A National Championship Game, and both Peoria (Midwest League-A) and the GCL Cardinals (Gulf Coast League – Rookie) advanced to their respective league Championship Series.
The Cardinals announced five new managerial assignments for 2019, but will have incumbent pitching coaches at all nine of their minor league affiliates. In addition, the team has announced seven new hitting coach assignments for 2019.
Memphis native and former Major Leaguer Ben Johnson will be entering his first season as manager at Memphis after most recently coaching the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay-AAA) in 2018. Joe Kruzel will pilot Springfield (AA) after two seasons at the helm in State College, while Dan Bilardello (Palm Beach-A), Roberto Espinoza (Johnson City –Rookie), Fray Peniche (DSL Blue) and John Matos (DSL Red) return to their respective teams. Erick Almonte moves to Peoria (A) as manager, and both Jose Leon (State College-A) and Joshua Lopez (GCL Cardinals-Rookie) have been promoted to managers.
Several of the team’s minor league field instructors have been retained, however Chris Swauger will move into a new role as Assistant Field Coordinator under Field Coordinator Mark DeJohn, and Johnny Rodriguez will serve as Minor League Infield Instructor. Jose Oquendo was recently announced as Minor League Roving Instructor, and former Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz has been named Minor League Catching Instructor.
The following is a complete listing of the Cardinals 2019 Minor League Staffs and Player Development assignments:
Club Manager Pitching Coach Hitting Coach
Memphis (AAA) Ben Johnson Dernier Orozco* Jobel Jimenez^
Springfield (AA) Joe Kruzel^ Darwin Marrero* Brandon Allen^
Palm Beach (A) Dann Bilardello* Will Ohman* Tyger Pederson
Peoria (A) Erick Almonte^ Cale Johnson* Russ Chambliss*
State College (A) Jose Leon^ Adrian Martin* Cody Gabella^
Johnson City (R) Roberto Espinoza* Rick Harig* Brian Burgamy^
GCL Cardinals (R) Joshua Lopez^ Giovanni Carrara* Joe Hawkins
DSL Cardinals 1 Fray Peniche* Billy Villanueva* Ismael Castro
DSL Cardinals 2 John Matos* Renee Cortez* Nabo Martinez*
2019 Cardinals Minor League Field Instructors & Medical Staff
Field Coordinator – Mark DeJohn*
Assistant Field Coordinator – Chris Swauger^
Latin America Field Coordinator – Jose Leger*
Senior Pitching Coordinator – Tim Leveque*
Minor League Offensive Strategist – George Greer*
Minor League Pitching Instructor – Randy Niemann*
Minor League Roving Instructor – Jose Oquendo^
Minor League Infield Instructor – Johnny Rodriguez^
Minor League Catching Instructor – Tony Cruz
Minor League Medical Coordinator – Keith Joint
Minor League Rehab Coordinator – Matt Leonard
Minor League Strength & Conditioning Coordinator – Aaron Rhodes
Minor League Performance Specialist – DC MacLea
Minor League Asst. Rehab Coordinator – Victor Kuri
Minor League Rehab Consultant – James Spencer
DSL Medical Director – Pedro Betancourt
DSL Head Strength & Conditioning – Jeremy Lezama
Trainers & Strength Coaches:
Memphis – Matt Corvo & Frank Witkowski; Springfield – Dan Martin & Dan Vega; Palm Beach – Chris Whitman & Ross Hasegawa; Peoria – Chris Walsh & Kyle Richter; State College – Joe Olsiewicz & Don Trapp; Johnson City – Alex Wolfinger & TBD; GCL Cardinals – TBD & Cory Ritter; DSL Blue – Shoki Hioki & TBD; DSL Red – TBD & Luis Polanco.
^-Returning Manager/Coach with new assignment