Mark Budaska was hired as hitting coach at Triple-A Memphis. He will be a part of returning manager Chris Maloney's staff that also includes Blaise Ilsley, who was promoted as pitching coach from Double-A Springfield. Budaska spent the last four seasons as hitting coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA). The former switch-hitting outfielder played for 10 years in the Oakland organization, including stints at the big league level in 1978 and 1981.
At Springfield (AA), manager Ron "Pop" Warner returns for his second season as does hitting coach Derrick May. Bryan Eversgerd earned a promotion from Quad Cities (A) and will assume pitching coach duties at Springfield.
Gaylen Pitts returns to manage the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals in 2008. Keith Mitchell was named hitting coach at Palm Beach after serving the previous two seasons as manager of Quad Cities. Longtime Major League pitcher Dennis Martinez was promoted to pitching coach at Palm Beach after serving in the same capacity for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals last season.
The Cardinals Single-A affiliate at Quad Cities has a new name and new coaching staff for the 2008 season. The River Bandits will be managed by Steve Dillard, who was the hitting coach at Palm Beach last season. Dillard also managed Quad Cities in 1993 and 1994 when they were an Astros affiliate. Joe Kruzel was hired as hitting coach after spending the previous two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds where he served as hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Reds in 2006 and manager of the short-season Billings Mustangs in 2007. Arthur Adams was hired as pitching coach at Quad Cities and joins the Cardinals organization after having served as a minor league coach for the Montreal Expos (1997-2001), Florida Marlins (2002), and Boston Red Sox (2004-06).
Mark DeJohn returns as manager at Batavia (A) of the New York-Penn League. He will have two new coaches who are new to the Cardinals organization. Jeff Albert has been hired as hitting coach at Batavia. Albert played collegiate baseball at the Division 3 and Division 1 levels, with a couple of stops among independent professional teams. He began working on instruction and strength and conditioning with high school, college and professional players shortly thereafter and is owner and operator of swingtraining.net, which is a site dedicated to baseball training and analysis. Doug White was named pitching coach for the Muckdogs. White has extensive experience as a pitching instructor and has founded and run "Passion for Pitching" clinics in Southern California.
Joe Almaraz will once again manage the Cardinals rookie-level team in the Appalachian League at Johnson City. Tim Leveque was named pitching coach and Mike Shildt will serve as a coach at Johnson City.
Nelson Norman will manage the Cardinals Dominican Summer League team in his second season in the organization and Rene Rojas was named hitting coach for the Dominican club.
In other player development staffing news, Derek Lilliquist was promoted to Jupiter Complex Pitching Coordinator and Bill Villanueva promoted to assistant to Jupiter Complex Pitching Coordinator, Mike Shildt was promoted to Spring Training Coordinator and Ramon Ortiz was hired as Gulf Coast League hitting coach/Latin American hitting coordinator.
The Cardinals 2008 minor league coaching assignments are as follows:
|Club||Manager||Pitching Coach||Hitting Coach||Trainer|
|Memphis (AAA)||Chris Maloney*||Blaise Ilsley^||Mark Budaska||Chris Conroy*|
|Springfield (AA)||Ron "Pop" Warner*||Bryan Eversgerd^||Derrick May*||Jay Pierson|
|Palm Beach (A)||Gaylen Pitts*||Dennis Martinez^||Keith Mitchell^||Eric Bauer^|
|Quad Cities (A)||Steve Dillard^||Arthur Adams||Joe Kruzel||Manabu Kuwazuru^|
|Batavia (A)||Mark DeJohn*||Doug White||Jeff Albert||Brian Puchalski^|
|Johnson City (R)||Joe Almaraz*||Tim Leveque||Mike Shildt||Ryan Zink|
|GCL Cards (R)||Enrique Brito*||Ramon Ortiz||TBD|
|DSL Cards||Nelson Norman^||Rene Rojas||Marconis Cabrera|
* - Returning coach/trainer
^ - Returning coach/trainer with new assignment