The Cedar Rapids Kernels will have a new manager for the 2019 season, but he will be a familiar face.
Brian Dinkelman will manage the Kernels after serving as the team’s hitting coach during the past three seasons. He played eight seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, a tenure that included 23 games in the major leagues (2011) and 67 games in the Midwest League (.283 BA, 7 HR, 21 RBI for the 2007 Beloit Snappers).
Ryan Smith takes over as the Kernels hitting coach in his first season with the Twins organization. The former collegiate player previously spent three years as an assistant coach at the College of Central Florida.
Virgil Vasquez is the new Kernels pitching coach, after serving in that same position for the GCL Twins the past four seasons. His playing career included parts of two seasons in the majors with the Detroit Tigers (2007) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (2009), and the entire 2004 season in the Midwest League. He went 14-6 with a 3.64 ERA, 120 strikeouts and 34 walks in 168.1 innings/27 starts for the West Michigan Whitecaps.
Former major-leaguer Luis Rodriguez is the new Kernels infield coach after serving as hitting coach for the GCL Twins last year. He played for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 1999 and 2000, cumulatively batting .250 with 36 extra-base hits and 78 RBI in 225 games.