The Oakland A's 2016 minor league coaching staffs have plenty of familiar faces, but many will be in new places for the upcoming season.
With 2015 pitching coordinator Garvin Alston and 2015 hitting coordinator Greg Sparks leaving the organization for positions on big league coachign staffs, the A's announced that Gil Patterson and Jim Eppard will serve as the A's minor league pitching and hitting coordinators, respectively, for the upcoming season. Aaron Nieckula and Craig Lefferts return as the A's minor league field coordinator and rehab coordinator, respectively, for a second season. Juan Navarette returns for his 22nd season as the A's minor league defensive coordinator.
Patterson is a familiar name to those who have followed the A's minor league system over the years. He was the A's minor league pitching coordinator in 1996 and then again from 2008-2012. He spent the past three seasons as the New York Yankees minor league pitching coordinator. Eppard joins the A's from the Los Angeles Angels organization, where he spent the past 13 seasons, including two as the Angels' major-league hitting coach. Eppard was a 13th-round pick of the A's in 1982. He spent parts of four big league seasons with the Angles and Blue Jays.
Steve Scarsone returns for his fourth season as the A's Triple-A manager. Scarsone will have two new coaches on his staff, as Rick Rodriguez moves up from High-A Stockton to serve as the Sounds' pitching coach and Eric Martins moves up from Double-A Midland to serve as the Sounds' hitting coach. Martins worked with several of the A's top position player prospects on the RockHounds' roster last season and should have several of those players on his Sounds' team in 2016. Brad LaRosa returns as the Nashville athletic trainer and A.J. Seeliger is the new strength and conditioning coach.
Manager Ryan Christenson and pitching coach John Wasdin return to Double-A Midland, where they will look to bring a third consecutive Texas League title to West Texas. Brian McArn, who was the Stockton hitting coach last season, moves to Midland to take over that role from Martins. McArn figures to work with several of the same hitters in Midland that he mentored in Stockton in 2015. He last coached in Midland in 2004 and is in his 19th season with the A's. Justin Whitehouse returns as the RockHounds' athletic trainer and Henry Torres is the strength and conditioning coach.
Rick Magnante returns to Stockton as the Ports' manager for a second season. He will have two new coaches on his staff -- hitting coach Tom Everidge, who was a player for the Ports in 2006 and 2007, and pitching coach Steve Connelly. Everidge was the Vermont hitting coach the past two seasons, while Connelly served as the Vermont pitching coach in 2014 and the Beloit pitching coach in 2015. Travis Tims returns as the Ports' athletic trainer and Sean Doran will be strength and conditioning coach.
Fran Riordan returns to Beloit for a second season as the Snappers' manager. He will be joined by new hitting coach Juan Dilone, who was the A's Arizona Rookie League hitting coach for the past seven seasons. The Snappers' pitching coach will be veteran Don Schulze, who was in Nashville last season. Schulze is in his 11th season as a pitching coach in the A's system. Brian Thorson returns as the Snappers' athletic trainer and Matt Rutledge will serve as strength and conditioning coach.
In addition to his duties as the A's minor league field coordinator, Nieckula will suit-up as the Vermont Lake Monsters' manager for a second season. Carlos Chavez returns as the Lake Monsters' pitching coach for a second year and former A's prospect Lloyd Turner will be the Vermont hitting coach. Turner was the hitting coach in Beloit the past two seasons. Toshi Nagahara returns as the Lake Monsters' athletic trainer and Omar Aguilar is the strength and conditioning coach.
Longtime A's minor league coach Webster Garrison takes on a new role as the A's Rookie League manager in 2016. Garrison was the hitting coach for the Sounds in 2015. He has held a variety of roles in the A's system over the past 17 years, including as a manager at a number of different levels. He will be joined in Arizona by hitting coach Ruben Escalera, who was the manager in Arizona the past two seasons, and coach Gabe Ortiz. The A's did not announce a pitching coach for the AZL staff. Chris Lessner returns as the AZL A's athletic trainer and Terence Brannic is the strength and conditioning coach.