Minor League Coaching Staff's Set

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced its minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2009 season, which includes Ryne Sandberg taking over as manager at Double-A Tennessee and Bobby Dickerson assuming managerial duties for Triple-A Iowa.

Dickerson, who spent the last three seasons as the organization's infield and bunting coordinator, is in his eighth season with the Cubs and enters his fifth as a manager in the system. Dickerson previously managed the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx from 2002-2005. Mike Mason will serve a second term as Iowa's pitching coach. Von Joshua returns as Iowa's hitting coach for the fourth-straight season while Matt Johnson begins his second season as the club's athletic trainer and his eighth year in the Cubs chain.

Sandberg, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, will manage the Tennessee Smokies after guiding Single-A Peoria to a 60-78-1 record in 2008. In his first two managerial seasons with Peoria, he has compiled a 131-146-1 mark. He was a 10-time N.L. All-Star and a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner at second base. Sandberg's staff includes a pair of veterans with more than three decades of experience in the game apiece: Pitching Coach Dennis Lewallyn and Hitting Coach Tom Beyers, who are in their third and first season with the Smokies, respectively. Beyers, who joined the Cubs in 2000, steered the short-season Single-A Boise Hawks to a 43-33 record last season, second place in the Northwest League East Division. Nick Frangella enters his fifth season in the Cubs organization and his second as athletic trainer for Tennessee.

At Daytona, Buddy Bailey will manage the club after guiding Tennessee to a 62-77 mark in 2008. Bailey, who has been a minor league manager for 20 years and with the Cubs since 2006, previously worked in Boston's organization (1991-2004) and Atlanta's organization (1982-1990). The former catcher managed at the Triple-A level with Pawtucket (1993-1996, 2002-2004) and served as Boston's big league bench coach in 2000. Bailey will be joined by Pitching Coach Tom Pratt, who handled the same duties for Boise last season. Former major league outfielder Richie Zisk returns as the club's hitting coach for the fourth-straight season and his 20th in the organization while Bob Grimes enters his 24th year in the system, his second as the team's athletic trainer after spending the previous four seasons with Iowa.

Marty Pevey will take the helm at Single-A Peoria in his first season with the Cubs organization. Pevey brings 13 years of playing experience and nine seasons as a manager to the club. The former catcher managed the Rookie-League Medicine Hat Blue Jays (1996-1997), the Single-A Hagerstown Suns (1998), the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays (2000-2002), the Double-A New Haven Ravens (2003) and the Syracuse Sky Chiefs (2004-2005). Rich Bombard returns as Peoria's pitching coach, while Barbaro Garbey will be the hitting coach, after holding the same position with Tennessee last season. Kelly Vanhove begins his second season as the team's athletic trainer.

After two years as the Cubs minor league catching coordinator, Casey Kopitzke will manage Boise in 2009. Kopitzke was selected by the Cubs in the 27th round of the 1999 draft and spent his eight-year pro career in the Cubs organization. Assisting Kopitzke will be the team's pitching coach, David Rosario, who handled the same duties for Daytona last year. Desi Wilson will handle hitting coach duties after holding the same position with the Mesa Cubs. Dan Golden, an intern to the major league training staff in Chicago last season, begins his first season as Boise's athletic trainer.

Juan Cabreja, who is in his sixth year with the organization, begins his first season as Rookie League Mesa's manager. Cabreja was a Dominican Summer League manager for the past two seasons. Rick Tronerud returns to handle pitching coach duties for the ninth-straight season while Ricardo Medina returns as the hitting coach. Steve Melendez, in his 24th season with the organization, returns as the club's athletic trainer for the second season.

The Cubs will run two clubs in the Dominican Summer League. The first team will be managed by Alberto Garcia while Leo Hernandez will be the team's pitching coach in his 14th year with the club. Ramon Caraballo will be the hitting coach for the fifth-straight season. Robert Jimenez is the team's athletic trainer.

The second Dominican team will be managed by Franklin Blanco, who begins his third season with the organization. Anderson Tavares will handle pitching coach duties for the third-consecutive year and Hitting Coach Leo Perez begins his first season as a coach in the Dominican. Amaury Gonzalez will serve as the club's athletic trainer.

COORDINATORS

Dave Bialas returns as the minor league field coordinator for the seventh-consecutive season and his 15th year in the Cubs organization. A 37-year veteran of professional baseball, he has 13 seasons of minor league managerial experience, compiling a 912-881 record and leading his teams to six league championship series. As a player, Bialas spent his minor league career as an outfielder in the Cardinals system, compiling a .274 batting average in 1,019 games from 1972-1982.

Franklin Font begins his first season as infield coordinator after coaching or managing in the Cubs organization since 2002. Font, who played in the Cubs minor league system from 1996-2000, steered the Mesa Cubs to a 31-24 record in 2008. He also managed the Cubs Venezuelan (Rookie) Summer League club (2002) and Cubs Dominican (Rookie) Summer club (2005-2006). The former infielder was a member of Mesa's coaching staff in 2003 and 2004 and Boise's hitting coach in 2007.

Bob Dernier returns for his third season as the Cubs outfield and baserunning coordinator. Dernier roamed the outfield for the Cubs from 1984-1987 and compiled a .255 career batting average in 904 major league contests with the Phillies (1980-1983, 1988-1989) and Chicago. He stole 218 bases in the majors, and was caught just 63 times.

Dave Keller continues his duties as hitting coordinator for the sixth-straight year. Prior to this stint with Chicago, he was a major league staff assistant and bullpen catcher for the Cleveland Indians from 2001-2003. Keller played professionally in the Cincinnati Reds organization for three seasons (1982-1984), batting .289 with 22 homers and 108 RBI.

Jody Davis begins his first season as catching coordinator after three seasons as a minor league manager in the Cubs organization. The former big league catcher, who played for the Cubs for eight seasons 1981-1988, led the Daytona Cubs to the Florida State League title in 2008. Overall, Davis owns a 205-203 record between Peoria (2006) and Daytona (2007-2008).

Carmelo Martinez enters his 12th season in the Cubs organization, and his second as Latin American field coordinator. The former major league outfielder and first baseman spent 10 seasons at Rookie League Mesa, handling managerial duties in 1999-2003 and 2006. His 2002 Mesa club won the Arizona League title with a 35-21 record.

Mark Riggins begins his second season as pitching coordinator after handling the same duty with St. Louis for the previous 12 seasons. In 1995, he served as the Cardinals pitching coach under Joe Torre and Mike Jorgensen. Riggins pitched five seasons in St. Louis' farm system after he was signed out of Murray State University in 1979.

Additionally, the Cubs have promoted area scout Keith Stohr. After serving for five years as the club's Northern Florida area scout, Stohr has been named as one of the organization's advanced scouts.

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