The Peoria Chiefs, Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced Wednesday that Chris Swauger will return as their manager in 2018, accompanied by new pitching and hitting coaches.
It will be Swauger’s second season as Chiefs manager and his fifth as a coach in the Cardinals organization. He led the Chiefs to a 69-70 overall record in the 2017 regular season, but Peoria’s 39-31 record in the second half earned the team a wild-card berth. (They were swept in the first round by the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who were eliminated in the next round by the eventual Midwest League champion Quad Cities River Bandits.)
Swauger played in the minor leagues from 2008 to 2014, all but eight games in the Cardinals organization. His playing career included 31 games with the 2009 River Bandits, for whom he batted .296 with 4 HR and 22 RBI.
Peoria’s new pitching coach is Cale Johnson, who enters his fourth season as a coach in the Cardinals organization. His four-year playing career included the 2011 season with the River Bandits. He went 1-4 with a 4.33 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 22 walks in 52 innings pitched over 30 games for Quad Cities.
A first-year coach in the Cardinals organization, Russell Chambliss joins the Chiefs as the team’s new hitting coach. The former New York Yankees minor-leaguer previously coached at the college and high school levels. He is the son of former major-leaguer Chris Chambliss, who won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1971 and played 2,175 games over 17 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees, and Atlanta Braves.