Thursday, December 13, 2007

Phils announce 2008 player develepment staff

Former Phillie Eric Valent is one of seven new members of the organization’s 2008 player development staff, Steve Noworyta, Director, Minor Leagues announced today. The other newcomers are former major leaguers Dusty Wathan, Razor Shines and Dave Lundquist, along with Frank Cacciatore, Doug Mansolino and Anton French.

Valent, 30, has been assigned as a coach for short-season, single-A Williamsport. A supplemental selection by the Phillies in the 1998 draft out of UCLA, Valent played parts of five seasons in the major leagues for the Phillies (2001-02), Reds (2003) and Mets (2004-05). He batted .234 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 205 major league games. The 2008 season marks his first in the coaching ranks.

Wathan, 34, will be Williamsport’s manager. The former catcher has spent the last two seasons in the Phillies’ minor league system, playing at both the triple-A and double-A levels. The son of former major leaguer John Wathan, Dusty appeared in three major league games for Kansas City in 2002.

Shines, 51, will manage single-A Clearwater. He appeared in 68 major league games over four seasons (1983-85, 1987) with Montreal and spent the last eight years in the White Sox organization, spending this past season as the club’s major league third base coach.

Lundquist will begin his fourth season as a minor league coach and his first with the Phillies at single-A Lakewood. The 34-year-old pitched in 37 major league games for the White Sox (1999) and Padres (2001-02) after being selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 1993 draft.

Cacciatore joins the Phillies following minor league coaching and managing stints with the Mets, Expos/Nationals, Marlins, Giants and Astros. He will coach at double-A Reading.

Mansolino joins the Phillies as their new infield coordinator following three seasons (2005-07) as Houston’s third base coach. The 51-year-old has also coached in the major leagues with Milwaukee (1998-99) and Detroit (2000-02), all under manager Phil Garner.

French, 32, played professionally for 15 years in the minor leagues and independent leagues before joining the Phillies as the minor league bunting/baserunning coach. He played in the minor league systems of St. Louis (1993-95), Atlanta (1995-96), Detroit (1996), Toronto (1997, 2004-05), Seattle (1998), Boston (2002-03) and Tampa Bay (2004). The 2008 season marks his first in a coaching position. French finished his playing career with 456 stolen bases, including six seasons of 40 or more.

After winning back-to-back minor league championships in the Phillies farm system, Dave Huppert has been named the new triple-A manager for the organization’s new affiliate in Allentown, Pa. He will replace John Russell, who was hired as the major league manager for Pittsburgh. Additionally, Sal Rende has been named the new hitting coordinator. Rende had been the Phillies’ triple-A hitting coach for the past four seasons.

The remainder of the minor league coordinators staff will return for the 2008 season: Bill Dancy (field), Gorman Heimueller (pitching), Jerry Martin (outfield) and Mike Compton (catching).

The following are the Phillies’ minor league staffs for the 2008 season:

Lehigh Valley (AAA) Lakewood (A)
Manager: Dave Huppert Manager: Steve Roadcap
Coach: Greg Gross Coach: Greg Legg
Pitching Coach: Rod Nichols Pitching Coach: Dave Lundquist

Reading (AA) Williamsport (A)
Manager: P.J. Forbes Manager: Dusty Wathan
Coach: Frank Cacciatore Coach: Eric Valent
Pitching Coach: Tom Filer Pitching Coach: Bill Bliss

Clearwater (A) Gulf Coast (R)
Manager: Razor Shines Manager: Roly deArmas
Coach: Kevin Jordan Coach: Luis Melendez
Pitching Coach: Steve Schrenk Pitching Coach: Carlos Arroyo

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