Fuson likes what he sees in assembled staff

It is no coincidence that the Grady Fuson stamp can be seen on the coaching staff deployment he announced on Tuesday. Most came from the Texas system – Fuson's last place of employment.

The Triple-A staff in Portland has been filled out with the hiring of Will Sinon. They are one of the few teams that will remain intact from a managerial standpoint as Craig Colbert returns to manage after missing out on a coaching job in San Diego, Gary Lance returns to watch over the pitching staff and Jose Castro heads up the batting department.

Mobile will see a significant amount of changes. Gary Jones returns to manage but will be joined by Glenn Abbott as pitching coach and Arnie Beyeler as the hitting coach in what is now a full staff.

"Abott has been around a long time," Fuson explained. "He has been up and down a system a couple times. Company guy who understands the process. Got a great resume. A guy I admire."

Beyeler is expected to revive a unit that has placed dead last in hitting two years in a row. Mobile's collective .244 average was 13 points lower than the team ahead of them.

"Beyeler is a guy I hired from Boston," said Fuson. "Got started as a scout. I think he was an area scout in Florida. Went all the way to Triple-A as a hitting coach with the Yankees. Became a manager in Boston system.

"Hard core baseball guy. Gets along with players. Knows the hitting system I believe in. Very versatile development guy. Was interviewed a year ago with the Mets at first base – that should tell you how Willie Randolph felt about him from his Yankee days."

The other change announced on Tuesday was the hiring of Tom Gamboa as a Roving Instructor within the system.

"Gamboa is a guy I have been around a lot of years," Fuson said. "He has been a winner no matter what he has done in his baseball career. He has done nothing but be successful.

"Only non-Latin player in Puerto Rican Hall of Fame. Went to five or six Championships down there in winter ball. Always liked the different things he brings to a party. He is tremendous with defensive work.

"He will be an asset for me and Bill Bryk in staff development in helping our managers and how to react to different situations. He has been around for a while and can lend his experience to the staff."

Gamboa was also the victim of on-field attack by two fans while coaching first base in top of ninth inning of Royals' 2-1 win at White Sox' Comiskey Park (Sept. 19, 2002), prompting Fuson to crack, "We just have to keep him safe from being attacked." That leaves a few holes within the organization to fill. There is a pitching coach position available and that could have a trickle down effect through the organization, depending on where the new hire is placed.

The speculation is Dave Rajsich will be assigned to a lower level, giving Fuson the experience he craves at the molding stages within the system.

On the manager front, the leading candidate appears to be Doug Dascenzo for the Eugene Emeralds – the only open head managerial position in the system.

Announcements on the full staff for Lake Elsinore, Fort Wayne, Eugene and the Arizona Rookie League club are expected within the next week.

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