The Fort Wayne TinCaps coaching staff will have a familiar look to it this year, as the entire 2018 staff returns for the 2019 season — the first time an entire coaching staff has returned for the following season in the 27-year history of the Fort Wayne franchise.
Anthony Contreras returns for a fourth season as manager of the TinCaps. He is the first Fort Wayne skipper to manage the team for more than three seasons. He led the TinCaps to the 2017 Midwest League Championship Series, which they lost to the Quad Cities River Bandits. Contreras also suited up for Fort Wayne during his nine-year playing career, batting .304 in 36 games with the 2008 team, who were known as the Wizards.
Former MLB hurler Burt Hooton also is returning to the TinCaps, for his seventh season as the team’s pitching coach. He has more than 20 years of experience as a minor-league pitching coach, and served as the Houston Astros’ major-league pitching coach from 2000 to 2004. Under his guidance, TinCaps pitchers set a new MWL record for strikeouts in a season (1,307) in 2017 (which was broken by the River Bandits last year). In 2018, his pitching staff had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio and the lowest walk rate in the MWL.
Hitting coach Jonathan Mathews returns to the TinCaps for a second season with Fort Wayne and a third season in the San Diego Padres organization. This is the third MWL team for whom he served as hitting coach, having also done so for the South Bend Silver Hawks (2014) and the Kane County Cougars (2016).
Jhonny Carvajal returns for a third season as the TinCaps’ fielding coach.