Cardinals announce 2013 minor league staffs

There is considerable change across the coaching ranks of the Cardinals minor league system for 2013, yet many of the faces are familiar.

Last year, the St. Louis Cardinals announced their 2012 coaching assignments before Thanksgiving. With a high level of year-to-year stability across the organization, it was easy to do.

With several coaches leaving the system this year, it has taken a bit longer to fill all of the seats for 2013. On Friday, January 4, the Cardinals minor league affiliates announced their local staffs, followed by a group release out of St. Louis.

In the table below, you can see the 2012 and 2013 staffs together by position and level.

Club Manager Pitching Coach Hitting Coach Trainer
Memphis (AAA)
2013 Ron "Pop" Warner Bryan Eversgerd Mark Budaska J. Clipperton
2012 Ron "Pop" Warner Blaise Ilsley Mark Budaska J. Clipperton
Springfield (AA)
2013 Mike Shildt Randy Niemann Phillip Wellman Scott Ensell
2012 Mike Shildt Bryan Eversgerd Phillip Wellman Jason Hall
Palm Beach (A)
2013 Johnny Rodriguez "Ace" Adams R. LaFrancois Keith Joynt
2012 Johnny Rodriguez Dennis Martinez Jeff Albert M. Kuwazuru
Peoria (A)
2013 Dann Bilardello Jason Simontacchi Erik Pappas Mike Petrarca
2012 (QC) Luis Aguayo "Ace" Adams Joe Kruzel Scott Ensell
State College (A)
2013 Oliver Marmol Dernier Orozco Ramon Ortiz Dan Martin
2012 (Batavia) Dann Bilardello Dernier Orozco R. LaFrancois Mike Petrarca
Johnson City (R)
2013 Joe Kruzel Paul Davis R. Espinoza Tony Reyes
2012 Oliver Marmol Doug White Ramon Ortiz Dan Martin
GCL Cards (R)
2013 Steve Turco Darwin Marrero Jobel Jimenez TBA
2012 Steve Turco Tim Leveque Kleininger Teran Tony Reyes
New to org.
Moved up
Left Cardinals

Notable changes previously known include Memphis pitching coach Blaise Ilsley becoming St. Louis' new bullpen coach, replaced in Memphis by former Springfield pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd.

Earlier, word had leaked out that former Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi would become the new pitching coach at Class-A Peoria. Last month, Palm Beach pitching and hitting coaches Dennis Martinez and Jeff Albert left the Cardinals organization to take jobs with the Houston Astros.

In Friday's changes, two short-season managers in 2012, Dann Bilardello and Oliver Marmol, are each moving up one level in 2013. Each will be leading the first Cardinals-affiliated clubs in new Player Development Contracts. Biladello takes over Class-A Peoria while Marmol is the new skipper at short-season Class-A State College.

Kruzel also coached in the Arizona Fall League
Former Quad Cities hitting coach Joe Kruzel is moving to a big chair, succeeding Marmol as manager of Johnson City of the Appalachian League. Two new coaches will man key roles under Kruzel. Paul Davis joins the organization from Nebraska as the Johnson City pitching coach while former Cardinals minor league catcher Roberto Espinoza is the new hitting coach at JC.

Eversgerd's successor as Springfield pitching coach is Randy Niemann, who finished 2012 as the major league pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox.

The 57-year-old had moved to the Red Sox as assistant pitching coach in 2012 after 24 years in the Mets organization. That included the 1986 World Championship club when he was still a pitcher, and later, three stints as Mets bullpen coach, including time under Bobby Valentine, later his boss in Boston. When Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure was fired in August, Niemann was elevated to replace him. Niemann was then fired along with Valentine and his staff following the season.

Along with Simontacchi, Peoria will have a first-time professional coach as the leader of the Chiefs' hitters in Erik Pappas. The former catcher with the Cardinals in 1993 and 1994 most recently coached youth baseball and participated in coaching clinics in the Chicago area.

In the Gulf Coast League, Darwin Marrero becomes the new pitching coach with 2012 Dominican Summer League Cards hitting coach Jobel Jimenez moving to the GCL in the same role in 2013. Kleininger Teran had served as a semi-unofficial player/hitting coach for the GCL Cards this past summer.

Marrero is a 31-year-old native of Venezuela who pitched for seven seasons in the Montreal Expos system, from 1998-2004. He then taught in a Florida baseball academy and began his professional coaching career leading the 2008 pitching staff of the American Association's Sioux City Explorers. Marrero has most recently been a youth coach in the Tampa area.

Among the returning coaches changing levels for 2013 are pitching coach Arthur "Ace" Adams and hitting coaches Roger LaFrancois and Ramon Ortiz.

Key cross organizational roles follow. All are incumbents with two exceptions, both re-assignments within the organization.

2012 Midwest League field manager Luis Aguayo is becoming International Field Coordinator/Infield Instructor while 2012 GCL Cards pitching coach Tim Leveque has moved into the position of Mechanics Analyst/Rehab Pitching Coordinator, also in Jupiter.

Field Coordinator – Mark DeJohn
Pitching Coordinator – Brent Strom
Hitting Coordinator – Derrick May
Special Assistant to Player Development – Gaylen Pitts
International Field Coordinator/Infield Instructor – Luis Aguayo
Minor League Strength/Conditioning Coordinator – Rene Pena
Mechanics Analyst/Rehab Pitching Coordinator – Tim Leveque
Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coaches – Sean Johnson (Memphis), Josh Cue (Springfield)

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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