Yesterday the Philadelphia Phillies tweeted the above photo of their skipper, Ryne Sandberg, and his nephew Jared Sandberg, who manages in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. This is as good as any reason to write about them both managing in the Midwest League.
Two years after being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ryne Sandberg got his start as a manager in the Chicago Cubs system. “Ryno” managed the Peoria Chiefs in 2007 and 2008, leading them to regular-season records of 71-68 and 60-78, respectively. The 2007 team included Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (.271 BA, 11 HR, 44 RBI in 98 games), Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Darwin Barney (.273 BA, 2 HR, 21 RBI in 44 games) and Detroit Tigers RHP Al Alburquerque (1-4, 9.24 ERA, 20 Ks in 25.1 IP). The 2008 team included Pittsburgh Pirates INF/OF Josh Harrison (.262 BA in 31 games), Oakland Athletics 3B Josh Donaldson (.217 BA, 6 HR, 23 RBI in 63 games) and Rays OF Brandon Guyer (.269 BA, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 22 SB in 88 games).
Jared Sandberg spent four seasons managing short-season Rays affiliates before taking the helm of the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2013. He led the Hot Rods to an 82-56 regular-season record and a playoff berth. The team included a couple notable Rays prospects, RHP Taylor Guerrieri (6-2, 2.01 ERA, 51 Ks in 67 IP/14 starts) and OF Andrew Toles (.326 BA, 2 HR, 57 RBI, 62 SB in 121 games).
This is Jared Sandberg’s first season as manager of the Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate.