Although there’s recent evidence to the contrary, we are not turning into a L.A. Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks blog. (Five of the last seven posts before this one involved one of those two organizations.)
While a lot of former Revolution players are ending up with those two organizations as either players or coaches, this news breaks that trend. Yet another former Rev is carving out a nice minor league coaching career for himself. Former infielder Liu Rodriguez (’09-’12) is entering his third season as a coach for the Milwaukee Brewers, and will be the hitting coach this season for their rookie ball affiliate, the Helena (Montana) Brewers of the Pioneer League.
It’s a York Revolution reunion on the coaching staff of the Inland Empire 66ers, the High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in San Bernadino, California.
While former Revs first baseman Chad Tracy (’13-’14) was being promoted from the Halos Low-A manager to High-A skipper, his former Revolution teammate Michael Wuertz (’13-14), was being hired by the organization as a minor league pitching coach. The two will both be with Inland Empire for the 2016 season.
Tracy, who after nine pro seasons and one managing is only 30, will have eight seasons of MLB playing experience on his staff with Wuertz, who is 37. Wuertz spent the final two seasons of his career with York, appearing in 71 games. Prior to an injury-shortened 2014, Wuertz seemed primed for a possible Major League comeback after missing all of 2012; in 2013 he was one of the top middle relievers in the Atlantic League. In 53 games and 50.1 innings, he posted a 2.86 ERA and struck out 62 batters, and tossed in six saves for good measure.
News regarding former Revs advancing their minor league coaching careers continues to come fast and furious this off-season. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have announced that former Revolution first baseman Chad Tracy (’13-’14), will manage their A-Advanced affiliate in the California League, the Inland Empire 66ers. (Located in San Bernadino, CA.)
It’s a promotion for Tracy, who upon retiring as a player following 2014 with York (where as a farewell, he led the Atlantic League with 97 RBI), was immediately hired by the Angels to manage their Class A club in the Midwest League, the Burlington Bees. It’s the Tracy family business; Chad’s father Jim Tracy managed 11 Major League seasons with the Dodgers, Pirates and Rockies between 2001 and 2012.
As the calendar flips to a new year, MLB organizations finalize and announce their minor league coaching staff for each of their affiliates. In December, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that former Revolution infielder Keoni DeRenne (’07-’09) had been promoted from hitting coach at Class A to A-Advanced. The Arizona Diamondbacks have done the same with another Revs alum; former third baseman Vince Harrison (’10-’11) has been shifted as hitting coach of the Kane County (IL) Cougars of the Midwest League to the Visalia Rawhide of the California League.
Harrison immediately entered the coaching ranks upon his retirement as a player following the 2011 Revolution championship season. He joined the Pirates and began as hitting coach for the Class A West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League (DeRenne was a successor in that job, holding the post the last two seasons), before joining the Diamondbacks for the 2014 season. 2016 marks Harrison’s third season with Arizona, going from Rookie League hitting coach for the Missoula (MT) Osprey in the Pioneer League, to Kane County, to Visalia.