12/17 Minor matters
The Cubs named their Minor League coaching staffs on Thursday. Ryne Sandberg was promoted to Triple-A Iowa, Bill Dancy takes over at Double-A Tennessee, and former big league catcher Jody Davis returns to managing in Boise where he’ll be joined by Jeff Fassero.
Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman who led Tennessee to the Southern League championship in 2009, was moved up when Iowa manager Bobby Dickerson left to join the Baltimore Orioles’ organization. Sandberg will be joined at Iowa by pitching coach Mike Mason and hitting coach Von Joshua.
Dancy joins the Cubs after spending the past 30 years within the Philadelphia Phillies (1978-2009) and Kansas City Royals (2009) organizations. In 2005-06, he was the Phillies’ third base coach. Dennis Lewallyn will join Dancy as the Smokies pitching coach and Tom Beyers as the hitting coach.
Davis, who managed Peoria and Daytona, spent the 2009 season as the Cubs’ Minor League catching instructor and returns to the dugout for Class A Boise. Ricardo Medina, who previously coached with the Dominican Summer League, will serve as Boise’s hitting coach.
Davis, who was the Cubs catcher from 1981-1988, will be joined by former big league pitcher Fassero, who helped with the Cubs this summer in Mesa. Being retired was nice but the left-hander wanted to do more.
“I played golf,” Fassero told me in October, “but you can only do that for so long.”
Dave Bialas and Mark Riggins both return to the Cubs in 2010 as the Minor League field coordinator and pitching coordinator, respectively. So does ex-Cub Bobby Dernier, back as the outfield and baserunning coordinator. Infield coordinator Franklin Font and hitting coordinator Dave Keller also return. Carmelo Martinez enters his 13th season with the Cubs, and third as Latin American field coordinator, and Marty Pevey takes over as catching coordinator.
Buddy Bailey, who has been with the Cubs since 2006, will return to Class A Daytona and be joined by pitching coach Tom Pratt and former big league outfielder Richie Zisk. Casey Kopitzke, who managed at Class A Boise in 2009, will move up to Peoria in 2010. David Rosario and Barbaro Garbey will join Kopitzke as the pitching and hitting coaches, respectively.
Juan Cabreja will be the Rookie League Mesa manager for the second straight year and Rick Tronerud returns to handle pitching coach duties for the 10th consecutive season. Desi Wilson joins the staff as the hitting coach after handling those duties for Peoria last year.
— Carrie Muskat