Josh Bonifay, who managed the rookie-level Greeneville Astros the past two seasons, will be the new skipper of the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2015.
Bonifay was the Appalachian League Manager of the Year in 2013, when he led Greeneville to the league championship series. He played eight seasons in the minor leagues, mostly in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. His coaching career started in the Pirates system before moving to the Astros organization in 2011.
Bonifay is the son of former Pirates general manager and current Cincinnati Reds special assistant to the general manager Cam Bonifay.
Dave Borkowski will return for a third season as pitching coach of the River Bandits. As a Detroit Tigers farmhand in 1997, he went 15-3 with a 3.46 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 164 IP for the West Michigan Whitecaps.
Hitting coach Joel Chimelis also returns for a third season with the River Bandits. His minor-league playing career spanned 14 seasons in the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets organizations, and leagues in Mexico, Korea and Canada.
Tim Garland replaces Vince Coleman as Houston’s Quad Cities-based development specialist. His focus will be on helping River Bandits outfielders, as well as working on baserunning skills with the entire team.
After a 15-year playing career in the minor leagues, Garland made his coaching debut with the Kane County Cougars in 2006.
QC owners buy fourth team
Main Street Baseball, owner/operator of the River Bandits for the past seven seasons, announced Thursday it purchased a fourth team, the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League. The High-A team is affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
In addition to the River Bandits and the Blue Rocks, Main Street Baseball also owns the High Desert Mavericks (a California League team affiliated with the Texas Rangers) and the Billings Mustangs (a short-season Pioneer League team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds). MSB purchased the Billings team earlier this month.