Cardinals announce Minor League staffs

Cardinals announce Minor League staffs

ST. LOUIS -- The recent promotions of Mike Shildt and Oliver Marmol to manager Mike Matheny's big league staff opened a pair of Minor League managerial jobs. Those have now been filled.

The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that former longtime farmhand Stubby Clapp will be taking over for Shildt as manager of the Triple-A Memphis club. Clapp played parts of four seasons with Memphis from 1996-2000 and is still among the franchise's all-time leaders in triples (19), walks (222), runs scored (258), doubles (87), extra-base hits (128) and hits (418).

Minor League affiliates

Clapp appeared in 23 games with the Cardinals, all in 2001, and then began a second career as a coach after his retirement. Clapp most recently served as a hitting coach for Toronto's Double-A affiliate.

Clapp is one of two new Minor League managers the Cardinals will employ, though several others have switched affiliates.

Johnny Rodriguez, who has coached/managed in the system since 2011, becomes the Double-A manager after most recently managing the Class A short-season State College Spikes. Dan Bilardello leaves Springfield to manage Class A Advanced Palm Beach, and Chris Swauger has been promoted from manager of Johnson City to manager of the Class A Peoria Chiefs. Joe Kruzel, who managed Peoria last year, takes over as the manager in State College.

Roberto Espinoza, who served as a hitting coach in Johnson City last year, will now manage that club. Managers Steve Turco (Gulf Coast League) and Frey Peniche (Dominican Summer League) return to their posts.

The Cardinals have made no changes with their Minor League pitching coach assignments, as all eight of those coaches return to the clubs they worked with in 2016. That includes Triple-A pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd, who's been with Memphis for the last four seasons.

Also returning to the Memphis staff is hitting coach Mark Budaska, who has been the Cardinals' Triple-A hitting coach since 2008. There will be new hitting coaches in Springfield (Jobel Jimenez), Palm Beach (Erick Almonte) and Peoria (Donnie Ecker).

Additionally, the Cardinals announced their player development staff assignments on Wednesday. Returning for another season in their roles will be Mark DeJohn (field coordinator), Tim Leveque (senior pitching coordinator), Ron "Pop" Warner (Minor League infield instructor), Paul Davis (assistant pitching coordinator), George Greer (Minor League offensive strategist) and Luis Aguayo (coordinator of Latin America instruction).

Gaylen Pitts returns as a special assistant to player development, and Willie McGee will continue to serve as a special assistant to the general manager.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.