Shoemaker to skipper the Loons again in 2019

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday that John Shoemaker will return this year for a second consecutive and fourth overall season as manager of the Great Lakes Loons.

This will be his 43rd season in the Dodgers organization, and his 26th as a minor-league manager. Here is some more info about “Shoe” from the Loons’ press release about his return:

The one-time draft pick of the San Francisco Giants (26th round, 1974), Dodgers (35th round, 1977) and Chicago Bulls (6th round, 1978 NBA Draft) has compiled a 199-219 record over three seasons as Loons manager and has managed more than 3,000 games dating back to 1987. Shoemaker played second base in the Dodgers minor-league system from 1977-80 and made it to Triple-A Albuquerque before retiring to become a minor-league hitting coach. This will be the third time in team history that the Loons have had a manager return for consecutive seasons: Juan Bustabad (2008-10) and Shoemaker (2011-12).

Shoemaker’s playing days included 76 games with the Clinton Dodgers, for whom he batted .322 in 1977.

Shoemaker’s coaching staff includes three newcomers to the Midland, Mich., team: hitting coach Justin Viele, pitching coach Luis Meza, and assistant coach Jason Bourgeois.

This is the third season Viele is serving as a hitting coach in the Dodgers organization, after previously serving in that role for the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2018 and the rookie-level Ogden Raptors in 2017. (Both of those teams won their league championships.) He played two years of pro baseball in the Baltimore Orioles farm system (2013-14).

Meza joins the Loons staff after previously serving as a pitching coach in the Arizona League and the Dominican Summer League. He pitched seven seasons in the Dodgers farm system (2009-15) before becoming a coach. He spent the 2013 season in the Midwest League, going 4-1 with a 3.96 ERA, four saves, 41 strikeouts and 32 walks in 51 relief appearances (72.2 innings) for the Loons.

Bourgeois played parts of eight MLB seasons with six different teams, compiling a .253 batting average with six homers, 44 RBI and 54 stolen bases in 317 big-league games. This is his first coaching assignment.

This entry was posted in Albuquerque Isotopes, California League, Clinton LumberKings, Great Lakes Loons, Midwest League, Ogden Raptors, Pacific Coast League, Pioneer League, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Bookmark the permalink.

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