The Quad Cities River Bandits will have a new manager for the upcoming season, the Houston Astros announced Thursday.
QC’s new skipper is Ray Hernandez, who was the development coach for Houston’s Triple-A affiliate last year. He was the pitching coach for Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif., from 2015 to 2017, and additionally coached one season at Elk Grove High School. A former pitcher, Hernandez played two seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system (2011-12).
QC’s new pitching coach is Erick Abreu, who enters his sixth season as a coach in the Astros organization. Last year he was the pitching coach for the Tri-City ValleyCats, who won the New York-Penn League championship. The Dominican Republic native pitched professionally for 12 seasons, including five years in the Astros farm system and five years in the New York Yankees organization.
Rafael Pena returns to the River Bandits staff in his first season as a hitting coach; he served as QC’s development coach last year. A native of the Dominican Republic, Pena played infield in college before serving as an assistant coach at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2016 and 2017. Last year was his first with the Astros organization.
Ex-QC broadcaster joins Reds
Former River Bandits broadcaster Tommy Thrall has been added to the Cincinnati Reds radio broadcast team.
Thrall did play-by-play for the River Bandits in 2010 and 2011 before performing that same task for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati’s Double-A affiliate) from 2012 to 2018.