CLEVELAND, Ohio – It’s promotion time in the Indians’ minor league system.
The Indians promoted Tony Mansolino to Class AAA manager at Columbus, Rouglas Odor to Class AA manager at Akron, Jim Pankovits to Class A manager at Lynchburg and Dennis Malave to short-season manager Class A Mahoning Valley. Mansolino was promoted from Akron, Odor from Lynchburg, Pankovits from Class A Mahoning Valley and Malave from Akron where he was the bench coach.
Making the jump with Mansolino to Columbus will be his pitching coach from last year, Rigo Beltran. Andy Tracy was hired from the Phillies and will be the hitting coach at Columbus. Kyle Hudson will be the bench coach, Scott Nealon the strength and conditioning coach and Jeremy Heller the athletic trainer. Hudson was the bench coach at Lake County last year.
Mansolino is replacing Chris Tremie, who left to become the field coordinator for the Reds after spending six seasons in Columbus and 12 seasons in the organization. This is Mansolino’s fourth year managing in the system and ninth overall. He led Akron to the Eastern League championship last year, they lost to New Hampshire in league title finals.
Odor’s staff at Akron will have Tony Arnold at pitching coach and Justin Toole at hitting coach. Juan De La Cruz will be the bench coach, Pete Synenkyj the strength and conditioning coach and Bobby Cruz the athletic trainer. Arnold and Toole were at Lynchburg last year.
Pankovits’ staff at Lynchburg will have Joe Torres at pitching coach, Johnny Narron at hitting coach, Mike Merganthal at bench coach, Eric Ortero at strength and conditioning coach and Jake Legan at athletic trainer. Torres was at Lake County last year and Narron was at Columbus.
Former Tribe catcher Luke Carlin will remain as manager of Lake County. Jordan Smith, a minor league outfielder for seven years in the Indians’ system, has retired and will serve as Carlin’s bench coach.
In the Dominican Summer League, Jose Mejia will be in charge of the Tribe’s baseball academy after managing the summer league team for six year. Jesus Tavarez has been brought in to manage the team.
On the coordinator level Kevin Howard has been named hitting coordinator and Pete Lauritson will be the short-season hitting coordinator. Last season Howard was at Akron and Lauritson at Lake County as hitting coaches. Kai Correa has been named the new short-season defensive coordinator after being an infield coach for the Arizona Rookie League Indians. Chris Giacchino has been named strength and conditioning coordinator.
Others returning to the player development department include Johnny Goryl, who will begin his 69th year in pro ball and 38th with the Indians. Minnie Mendoza, entering his 30th year with the Indians, Tim Tolman, Dave Wallace (catching) and Travis Fryman (infield) will be back in special assistant roles.
On the pitching side, Ruben Niebla returns for 19th year with the Indians and seventh as pitching coordinator. Cody Buckel joins the Tribe as the pitching resource coordinator after being a minor league pitching coach with Seattle. Former Tribe infielder John McDonald returns for his fourth season as defensive coordinator.