This past September, Philly Baseball Insider was the first to report that Ray Burris wouldn't return as the pitching coach of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and would be spending more time in Clearwater. Now, we know why. The Phillies have a newly created position of pitching rehab coach, which will be filled by Burris. The position will allow Burris to spend the bulk of the season at the Phillies complex in Clearwater, working with pitchers who are rehabbing from various injuries.
Burris' spot with Lehigh Valley will be filled by David Lundquist, who moves to the Triple-A level from Double-A Reading, where he served in the same capacity under manager Dusty Wathan. The falling pitching coach dominoes lead to Steve Schrenk moving from Clearwater to Reading and Aaron Fultz going from Lakewood to Clearwater. Brian Sweeney, in his second season in the Phillies organization, goes from the GCL Phillies to Lakewood, while Hector Mercado takes over in the GCL. Hector Berrios joins the organization and will serve as the new pitching coach for the Williamsport Crosscutters.
Here's a look at all of the minor league staffs.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs - Dave Brundage returns for his fourth season as manager of the 'Pigs, with hitting coach Sal Rende returns for his fifth season in that role at Lehigh Valley. Lundquist takes over the pitching coach duties at the Triple-A level.
Reading Fightin Phils - Dusty Wathan continues in his role as Double-A manager for the fifth straight season. Frank Cacciatore also returns to serve as the hitting coach, with Schrenk taking over the pitching staff.
Clearwater Threshers - Greg Legg and Rob Ducey will serve as manager and hitting coach, respectively. Aaron Fultz steps in as the pitching coach under Legg.
Lakewood BlueClaws - Manager Shawn Williams returns for a second season, making him just the fourth person to manage the 'Claws in consecutive seasons. Hitting coach Nelson Prada also returns, with Brian Sweeney taking over as pitching coach.
Williamsport Crosscutters - Pat Borders received rave reviews as the Crosscutters manager last season and is back for his second year at the helm of the 'cutters. John Mizerock, who spent last season as the Phillies third base coach, but was relieved of his duties there, will serve as hitting coach at Williamsport, with new pitching coach Hector Berrios also joining the staff.
Gulf Coast League Phillies - Roly deArmas will pilot the GCL Phillies for the ninth straight season and 12th overall. He'll be joined by coaches Rafael DeLima and Eddie Dennis, who will share the hitting coach duties, while Hector Mercado serves as pitching coach.
Minor League Coordinators - Doug Mansolino (field coordinator), Andy Tracy (hitting coordinator), Chris Truby (infield coordinator), Andy Abad (outfield/baserunning coordinator) and Ernie Whitt (catching coordinator) all return to their roles. Rafael Chaves takes over as the Phillies pitching coordinator, replacing Carlos Arroyo, who returns to his more familiar role as roving pitching coach. Arroyo is entering his 39th season in the Phillies organization.