The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that former major-leaguer Mark Grudzielanek will manage the Kane County Cougars this year.
Grudzielanek played 15 seasons in the big leagues, with the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians. He was an All-Star in 1996, led the National League with 54 doubles in 1997, and won a Gold Glove in 2006.
He played in the Midwest League in 1992, batting .246 with 5 HR, 54 RBI and 25 SB in 128 games with the Rockford Expos.
Doug Bochtler will be Kane County’s pitching coach after serving in that same capacity for the South Bend Silver Hawks last year. He pitched in the major leagues from 1995 to 2000, for the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Dodgers and Royals.
Bochtler pitched in the Midwest League in 1990, going 9-12 with a 3.50 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 139 IP for the Rockford Expos.
Vince Harrison is the new Cougars hitting coach. He spent five seasons in affiliated baseball before continuing his playing career in independent leagues. This will be his second season as a coach in the Diamondbacks organization.
In other Diamondbacks news, the team announced that newly-elected Baseball Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson is now a special assistant to team president/CEO Derrick Hall. Johnson’s new duties include working with minor-league pitchers throughout the organization, which means there surely will be a Big Unit sighting in Kane County sometime during the upcoming season.