The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that Matt Erickson will return for a fifth season as manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers this year.
The Appleton native has been with the team since serving as its hitting coach in 2009. Since becoming manager in 2011, Erickson has a 276-276 record in the regular season, two playoff appearances (2012 and 2014), and a Midwest League championship title (2012).
Erickson played in four games for the 2004 Brewers and 11 seasons in the minor leagues, including a season in the Midwest League. He batted .324 with 4 HR, 64 RBI and 17 SB in 124 games with the 1998 Kane County Cougars.
Also returning to the Timber Rattlers is Chuckie Caufield, who has been the team’s hitting coach since last year. He played six seasons in the Brewers system, from 2006 to 2011.
New to the Timber Rattlers — but not to the Midwest League — is pitching coach Gary Lucas. He spent the past 15 years as a pitching coach in the Minnesota Twins organization, most recently for the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League. The Timber Rattlers will be the fourth Midwest League team for which Lucas is pitching coach. The others were the Quad City River Bandits (2000-2004), Beloit Snappers (2005, 2008-2012) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (2013).
Lucas pitched eight seasons in the major leagues, for the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and California Angels. The left-hander posted a 3.01 ERA in 669 innings, mostly in relief.