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D-backs Announce Minor League Coaching Staffs, Add Affiliate

A D-backs press release from Monday announced that Minor League Director of Player Development Mike Bell has finalized the coaching staffs for the D-backs' minor league affiliates.  Also within the press release is news of a new D-backs minor league squad, which should help ease the logjam that some of the lower-level affiliates have at certain positions, particularly in the rotation.

There are a couple of familiar names amongst the team's new minor league coordinators, including Mel Stottlemyre Jr., the team's new short-season pitching coordinator, who is no stranger to us here at the 'Pit.  Joel Youngblood, who had a stint at the end of last year as the D-backs' third base coach, will return to his previous role of minor league outfield & baserunning coordinator.

Additional minor league coordinators for 2011 are: fielding coordinator Chad Kreuter, pitching coordinator Jeff Pico, hitting coordinator Alan Cockrell, infield coordinator Tony Perezchica, catching coordinator Bill Plummer, short-season catching coordinator Carlos Hernandez, Latin liaison Hatuey Mendoza, medical coordinator Ryan DiPanfilo, assistant medical coordinator Jimmy Southard, strength coordinator Brett McCabe, video coordinator Jim Currigan, complex coordinator Bob Bensinger, and clubhouse assistant Ben Dorgan.

Triple-A Reno returns its entire coaching staff for the 2011 season.  Brett Butler remains manager for his third season at the Triple-A level, and fifth season of managing in the D-backs organization.  Mike Parrott is staying on for his 10th season as Triple-A pitching coach and 15th season in the D-backs organization.  Rick Burleson returns to Reno for his third seasons as the team's hitting coach, his fourth season with the D-backs.

Turner Ward will begin his managerial debut in 2011 at Double-A Mobile after spending the previous three seasons as Mobile's hitting coach.  Dan Carlson will remain in Mobile for his 2nd season as pitching coach of the BayBears, and his 10th season in the organization.  Jumping up a level from Hi-A Visalia, Alan Zinter will take over the hitting coach job, the same position he filled for the Rawhide, at Mobile.

Visalia's coaching staff has been completely revamped, led by first-year manager Jason Hardtke, who spent the previous two seasons as the hitting coach for Rookie-level Missoula.  Doug Drabek (yes, that Doug Drabek) will take over as pitching coach for Visalia after making his coaching debut as the pitching coach for Yakima in 2010.  Andy Abad will be the hitting coach for the Rawhide after spending the last two years in the same position for Yakima.

South Bend returns two coaches from last year, manager (and South Bend native) Mark Haley and pitching coach Wellington Cepeda.  This is Haley's seventh year with the SilverHawks and in the D-backs organization, and Cepeda's second year with South Bend and eighth with the D-backs.  Bobby Smith will make his coaching debut for South Bend this year as the team's hitting coach.

Audo Vicente, who managed Visalia in 2010, will take over as manager at Yakima.  Pitching coach Doug Bochtler and hitting coach Jacob Cruz will each be making their coaching debuts as members of the Yakima staff.

Manager Hector de la Cruz enters his 11th season in the D-backs organization, returning for his second season as manager of what is now the "Rookie-level-advanced" Missoula team.  Gil Heredia will be the pitching coach for the Osprey, having spent part of 2010 in the same role for Yakima.  Former Diamondback Andy Green will be making his coaching debut as the hitting coach for Missoula.

The big news of the day, or at least the big news to me, was the introduction of the new Rookie-level Arizona League D-backs, giving Arizona a second rookie-level affiliate and third short-season affiliate.  The coaching staff features a trio of first-time coaches and two former D-backs - manager Kelly Stinnett, pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru, and hitting coach Abraham Nunez.

The Dominican Summer League staff for 2011 includes field coordinator Luis Urueta, manager Juan Ballara, pitching coach Jose Tapia, hitting coach Jorge Salfran, infield coach Elvis Pena, outfield coach Gregorio Ramirez, athletic trainer Bladamir Marte, assistant trainer Bruly Medina, and administrator Milciades Noboa Sr.