Having already announced that former major-league infielder Gil Velazquez will manage the Loons this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers revealed the rest of the Great Lakes coaching staff Thursday.
Velazquez, a first-time manager, will be joined by pitching coach Bobby Cuellar, hitting coach John Valentin, and fourth coach Fumi Ishibashi.
Cuellar has been a coach since 1983, with major-league stints as a pitching coach with the Seattle Mariners (1995-96) and the Montreal Expos (1997-2000), and as a bullpen coach with the Texas Rangers (2001), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07), and the Minnesota Twins (2013-14). This is his second year with the Dodgers organization, having served as pitching coach for the Ogden Raptors in the rookie-advanced Pioneer League last year.
Cuellar’s playing career spanned 11 seasons and included four major-league relief appearances for the Rangers in 1977. He didn’t pitch in the Midwest League, but spent two seasons there as a manager for the Wausau Timbers (1986-87). In 1986 he managed Omar Vizquel, who batted .213 with 4 HR, 28 RBI and 19 SB in 105 games with the Timbers. Vizquel went on to play 24 seasons in the majors, making his mark as a defensive wizard and winning 11 Gold Gloves at shortstop.
Valentin joins the Loons staff after spending three seasons as the Dodgers’ major-league assistant hitting coach. This is his ninth year in the Dodgers organization. He batted .279 with 124 HR and 558 RBI in 1,105 MLB games spread over 11 seasons, 10 of which were with the Boston Red Sox.
Loons to unveil new logos, uniforms
The Loons will unveil new logos and uniforms for the 2016 season — the team’s 10th — during a fan event at Dow Diamond next month.
The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. Click here for more information.