The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that Joe Kruzel will return as manager of the Peoria Chiefs in 2015. It will be his second season as Chiefs skipper.
Kruzel led the Chiefs to a 72-67 record in 2014. The team missed a playoff berth by one game in both halves of the season.
Before managing the Chiefs, Kruzel spent time in the Midwest League as hitting coach of the Quad Cities River Bandits, from 2008 to 2012. The River Bandits were affiliated with the Cardinals during Kruzel’s time with the team.
Jobel Jimenez will return for his second season as hitting coach of the Chiefs. Newcomer Dernier Orozco will be Peoria’s pitching coach after two seasons serving in the same capacity for the State College Spikes, the Cardinals’ affiliate in the short-season New York-Penn League.
Side note: Seeing Dernier Orozco’s name made me think of former major-leaguers Bob Dernier and Jesse Orosco. Both men have a past with the Peoria Chiefs. Dernier worked with Chiefs players as the Chicago Cubs’ roving minor-league coach for baserunning and outfielders from 2007 to 2010. Orosco made two rehab appearances with the Chiefs in 2000, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings.