Cubs announce training staffs for major, minor leagues
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Cubs announce training staffs for major, minor leagues

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced their major league training staff and minor league managers/coaching staffs for the 2018 season. The organization this season has added a second Arizona Rookie League team in Mesa, giving the Cubs seven minor league clubs domestically and two in the Dominican Republic.

PJ Mainville begins his sixth season as the Cubs major league athletic trainer, and his 23rd year as an athletic trainer in professional baseball. Nick Frangella, in his 15th year with the organization, joins the major league staff as assistant athletic trainer following four seasons as head minor league athletic training and performance coordinator. Matt Johnson begins his 17th season in the organization and his seventh on the big league staff as assistant athletic trainer. Tim Buss begins his 18th season as the major league strength and conditioning coordinator since joining the major league staff in 2001. Ed Halbur, an assistant athletic trainer at the big league level since 2005, this year will return to his hometown in Des Moines to serve on the Iowa Cubs staff, where he previously was as an athletic trainer in 2003 and 2004.

Minor league Managers/staff returning to the organization but assigned to new positions next year are listed below in bold, while managers/staff new to the organization are listed in bold italics. More information on the returning members of the Cubs organization can be found on pages 213-235 of the Chicago Cubs 2017 Media Guide.


Manager Marty Pevey Mark Johnson Buddy Bailey Jimmy Gonzalez

Pitching Coach Rod Nichols Terry Clark Anderson Tavarez Brian Lawrence

Hitting Coach Desi Wilson Jesus Feliciano Ty Wright Ricardo Medina

Assistant Coach Chris Valaika Ben Carhart Carlos Rojas Paul McAnulty

Athletic Trainer(s) Mike McNulty/Ed Halbur Toby Williams Logan Severson James Edwards

Strength Coach Ryan Clausen Jason Morriss Keegan Knoll Ryan Nordtvedt


Manager Steve Lerud Carmelo Martinez Jonathan Mota Lance Rymel Pedro Gonzalez

Pitching Coach Armando Gabino TBD TBD Eduardo Villacis Jose Cueto

Hitting Coach Osmin Melendez TBD Claudio Almonte TBD TBD

Assistant Coach Jacob Rogers Leo Perez TBD Antonio Valerio/Jose Zapata Jovanny Rosario/Carlos Ramirez

Athletic Trainer Sean Folan Ike Ogata TBD

Strength Coach Dallas Lopez Mike Megrew TBD

Marty Pevey begins his sixth season as Triple-A Iowa’s manager after serving as Chicago’s catching coordinator for three seasons from 2010-12. Pevey served as the Single-A Peoria manager in 2009, his first season with the organization. Pevey has a over 30 years of professional experience, beginning with 13 years as a player, and was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year. Joining Pevey at Iowa will be Rod Nichols, who begins his third season as the team’s pitching coach after three years (2013-15) as the Philadelphia Phillies major league bullpen coach. Originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 1985 draft, he appeared in seven big league seasons, going 11-31 with a 4.43 ERA (203 ER/412.2 IP) in 100 games (48 starts). Desi Wilson and Chris Valaika will handle hitting coach duties for Iowa. Wilson begins his second season with Iowa and is in his 11th season with the organization. Valaika begins his first season with Iowa after beginning his coaching career last season with rookie league Mesa. He had a 10-year pro career, including time with the Cubs in 2014. Ed Halbur returns to Iowa as an athletic trainer after 13 seasons with the major league club. He will be joined by Mike McNulty, who begins his fifth year in the organization and first with Iowa. Ryan Clausen returns for his fifth season as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Mark Johnson begins his third season as Tennessee’s manager, and his eighth in the Cubs organization. Johnson’s teams have reached the postseason in four of his first seven minor league managerial seasons, including a Midwest League title with Single-A Kane County in 2014 and a Mills Cup Championship with Single-A Myrtle Beach in 2015. Terry Clark begins his third season as Tennessee’s pitching coach after spending the 2014-15 seasons as the minor league pitching coordinator for the Seattle Mariners. Clark appeared in parts of six big league seasons, going 10-23 with one save and a 5.54 ERA (143 ER/232.2 IP) in 91 games. Jesus Feliciano joins the staff as a hitting coach after managing Single-A Eugene the past two seasons. He earned Northwest League Manager of the Year honors in 2016 and is entering his fifth season in the organization. Ben Carhart also joins the staff after beginning his coaching career as a rehab coach with Mesa last season. He had a five-year playing career in the Cubs minor league system. Toby Williams enters his fifth year as a trainer in the Cubs organization and first with Double-A Tennessee, while Jason Morriss takes over the role as strength coach. Morriss spent the last three seasons with Myrtle Beach and is in his sixth season with the Cubs.

Buddy Bailey begins his third season as manager of Myrtle Beach and his 30th year as a minor league manager. In 2017, he became the 11th minor league manager ever to reach 2,000 wins. Prior to Myrtle Beach, he guided Single-A Daytona (2006, 2009-11), Iowa (2007) and Tennessee (2008, 2012-15). Anderson Tavarez will handle the team’s pitching coach duties for the third-straight season. He served as Single-A Eugene’s pitching coach in 2015 after two seasons with Rookie League Mesa. Tavarez played in the Cubs system from 2000-05 and worked as a pitching coach with the Cubs Dominican Summer League team from 2007-12. Ty Wright begins his first season as hitting coach with the Pelicans after serving as an assistant coach with the club last season. He began his coaching career in 2015 after an eight-year playing career, seven of which came in the Cubs system. Carlos Rojas joins Myrtle Beach’s staff as an assistant coach after spending two seasons with the DSL Cubs and one with the Venezuela Cubs. Logan Severson enters his third season as a trainer in the Cubs organization and first with Myrtle Beach, while Keegan Knoll joins the organization as the club’s strength coach.

Jimmy Gonzalez begins his fifth season as a manager in the organization, his fourth with South Bend. Gonzalez made his managerial debut in 2014 with Rookie League Mesa after serving as hitting coach with the club in 2013. A former catcher, he played 14 minor league seasons after he was selected in the first round of the 1991 Draft by Houston. Brian Lawrence enters season two with South Bend as the team’s pitching coach, having served in the same role in 2016 at Eugene. Lawrence made his coaching debut in 2012 in the Independent Frontier League after the former righthander went 50-63 with a 4.19 ERA during a six-year big league career with the Padres and Mets. Ricardo Medina returns to South Bend as the club’s hitting coach after spending 2016 with the club. He spent last season with Double-A Tennessee and has been in the Cubs system as a coach, manager or scout since 1999. Paul McAnulty joins the organization as an assistant coach after previously serving as a coach in the Angels system in 2016. James Edwards begins his second season as a trainer in the Cubs organization and first with South Bend after spending last season with Eugene. Ryan Nordtvedt enters his sixth season in the organization and his second as South Bend’s strength and conditioning coach.

Steve Lerud joins the organization as Eugene’s manager, his first coaching stint. A former catcher, he had a 13-year playing career, including appearing in nine major league games with the Phillies during the 2012-13 seasons. He will be joined on staff by new pitching coach Armando Gabino. Gabino is in his fourth year in the organization after serving as a pitching coach with Mesa last season and with the club’s DSL team from 2015-16. Osmin Melendez joins the club as hitting coach after serving in the same role with Mesa last season. He enters his sixth year in the organization after a two-year minor league playing stint with the Orioles. Jacob Rogers joins the organization as an assistant coach after playing in the Cubs organization from 2012-16. He spent 2017 in the Rangers organization, his final season as a player. Sean Folan begins his fourth full season as a trainer and first with Eugene, while Dallas Lopez enters his second season as Eugene’s strength coach, his fourth season with the Cubs.

Carmelo Martinez begins his 21st season in the Cubs organization, and returns to manage Rookie League Mesa for the fourth-straight year. The club has reached the Arizona League playoffs each of the last three seasons. Martinez is a former outfielder/first baseman who played in the majors from 1983-91, seeing action with the Cubs in 1983. He will be joined on staff by assistant coach Leo Perez, who is in his 10th season in the organization and second-straight with Mesa. Ike Ogata joins the organization as the club’s trainer after previously serving as an assistant athletic trainer at Marquette University. Mike Megrew is in his sixth year with the Cubs, and first as strength coach with Mesa. He spent the previous four seasons with Double-A Tennessee.

Jonathan Mota begins his first year as a manager, taking over the club’s second rookie league team in Mesa. He was a coach with Single-A South Bend last year and enters his third year overall as a coach following a 12-season run as a player in the Cubs organization. Claudio Almonte joins him on staff as the club’s hitting coach. He spent last season as a hitting coach with the club’s DSL team after serving as the manager in 2016.

Lance Rymel is the manager of the first of the Cubs two Dominican Summer League teams for the second-straight season after he served as Mesa’s rehab coach in 2016. He is a former catcher selected by the Cubs in the 28th round of the 2012 Draft. Eduardo Villacis begins his fourth season as a pitching coach in the organization and his third in the Dominican Summer League. He played six seasons of minor league baseball, including one outing for the Royals in 2004. Antonio Valerio enters his third season as a coach in the Cubs organization after a four-year playing career in the minors. Jose Zapata begins his first season in the Cubs organization as a coach. He spent the previous 10 seasons as the Red Sox Latin American Field Coordinator and has been a minor league coach since 1994.

Pedro Gonzalez will manage the second Dominican League club for the third-straight year after managing the Venezuela Cubs the previous two campaigns. Jose Cueto returns for his third season as a coach in the Cubs organization (all with the club’s DSL teams) after a six-year minor league playing career from 1999-2004. Jovanny Rosario and Carlos Ramirez return as assistant coaches with the DSL team. Rosario begins his fourth full season in the organization, while Ramirez enters his third campaign.

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