Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bowling Green Hot Rods 2010 Coaching Staff

Bowling Green Hot RodsBowling Green, KY - The Bowling Green Hot Rods and their parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays, named the new Field Staff that will guide the Class A team in 2010. Brady Williams will serve as the club's manager, replacing inaugural season skipper Matt Quatraro. He'll be joined by returning pitching coach RC Lichtenstein, and fellow new additions in coach Manny Castillo and athletic trainer Scott Thurston.

"While our staff plans new promotions for 2010 and our Holiday Open House on Friday night, this is a sure sign that spring is coming," said Hot Rods General Manager/CEO Brad Taylor. "We look forward to working with Brady, Manny, and Scott, while renewing acquaintances with RC and another set of talented players in 2010."

Williams earns a promotion to Bowling Green for his fifth season in the coaching ranks. The 30-year-old Floridian made his managerial debut with the Rays' Short Season Class A affiliate in Hudson Valley, NY, in 2009, leading the Renegades to a 38-37 record. Prior to 2009, Williams served as a coach with Class A Vero Beach in 2008, the Hot Rods' predecessors in Columbus, GA, in 2007, and in Southwest Michigan in 2006. A former first baseman, Williams played five seasons of minor league ball with the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Lichtenstein returns to the Hot Rods for a second consecutive season, his sixth overall in the Rays' farm system, and his third working with Williams. The Chicago-native led Hot Rods hurlers in 2009, leading with a staff that featured South Atlantic League All-Star Chris Andujar and the strikeout leader in Minor League Baseball, left-hander Matt Moore. Lichtenstein's return to the Hot Rods also marks a return to the Midwest League, the Hot Rods new home in 2010. He served as pitching coach of the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays in 2005 and 2006. He coached with Williams during the '06 season in Michigan and again in 2008, the last of his two years in Vero Beach.

A former major league infielder, Castillo follows Williams from Hudson Valley to South Central Kentucky, replacing another former big leaguer, Hector Torres, as Hot Rods coach. Castillo enters his 13th season in the Rays' system, serving two stints managing Tampa's Dominican Summer League squad (1998-2001, 2007-08). Prior to his second stint in his native Dominican Republic, Castillo coached Class A Visalia (2006), Rookie-level Princeton (2003-05), and Class AA Orlando in 2002.

Prior to joining the Rays' coaching staff, Castillo spent eight years (1989-96) managing and coaching for the minor league affiliate of the Hiroshima Carp in the Dominican Republic. Before his coaching career began, he spent 18 years as a player, eventually spending three seasons in the big leagues with Kansas City (1981) and Seattle (1982-83).

Like Castillo, Thurston comes to Bowling Green from upstate New York to join the Hot Rods staff. He will count 2010 as his third season with the Rays, originally joining the club in 2008 with Princeton. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, he interned with the Cleveland Indians medical staff in 2007. A native of Greeley, Colorado, he has a dual degree in dietetics and sports exercise science.

The other three members of the 2009 Field Staff have been reassigned within the Rays' organization. Quatraro is now a Roving Hitting Coordinator. Torres will work with young players as a coach for the Rays' Gulf Coast League affiliate. Medina returns to his Rays' roots with Princeton.

- From the team press release.


  1. Interesting... I thought maybe they'd promote R.C. Lichtenstein to Charlotte to continue working with Matt Moore and Nick Barnese(like they did with Lichtenstein and Wade Davis/Jake McGee). It's not like he's not getting any big prospects though, with Kyle Lobstein, Alex Colome, and possibly Jason McEachern coming to Bowling Green.

    I wonder if Brady Williams will slow the running game down some this season. Hudson Valley led the NYP(by a lot) in SBs and CS.

  2. I thought the same on Lichtenstein.

  3. I hope Williams continues the running game. There was very little of that last year in B.G.

  4. Some Renegades fans weren't to happy about the amount of running last season. We'll see.

  5. Brady Williams is an aggressive manager who allows/encourages his players to develop. If you want to develop speed you have to turn it loose to a certain extent. He allowed them to steal second and third. While he tried to win, he seemed to balance that nicely with development. I think that may have led in part to his promotion. He seems to be a players manager. Firm in his expectations, even keil, yet aggressive to allow them to fully develop their skills. Obviously, the aggressiveness will lead to some mistakes but that is what the minor leagues ought to be for in my opinion. I think the Bowling Green fans will appreciate the aggressive style.

  6. I was one of the Renegades fans who did not appreciate Brady's overly aggressive baserunning last year. We gave away so many games, because of attempted base stealing. Many times, our 'Gades didn't stand a chance of safely stealing- yet, they were forced to run. This was extremely frustrating. I hope he tones it down this year at Bowling Green.

  7. Anonymous - that is a fair criticism about being overly aggressive. One thing to keep in mind is that a decent percentage of the caught-stealings were hit & runs and not straight steals. In the hit & run, the runner has to guarantee the pitch goes home before running which obviously slows them down. I suppose you could also criticize the hit & run strategy but many of the Gades last year struggled with their hitting and hit & run is one way to snap some of them out of their funk. Also, if you want to teach hitters how to hit & run, you have to in fact force them to hit & run. It would be interesting to know how much of the running was based on organizational philosophy and how much based on Williams' aggressive style. My take was that the Tampa brass was encouraging him to steal bases and/or hit & run.

  8. Appreciate the positive comments Daniel, all I heard last year was negative re the running (not taking a side). I don't think you need to doubt your opinion on the Rays/Tampa's thoughts, they promoted Williams with the same players. Seems like they have confidence in him to me!

    The low minors/ss leagues are always a balance between winning/pleasing the fans and player development, always has been, always will. My take is that the Rays support what Williams did as far as his managing style, thus the promotion.

    To me, it will be intersting to see how the Renegades approach this NEXT year, ie is it an organizational philosophy (sort of what Daniel describes), or purely managerial (Williams). Guess we'll find out come June...

  9. And to add, thanks to everyone who comments on the lower-level type stuff like this. I really enjoy debating the org's outlook on things without some of the negative things you read elsewhere. Nice bunch of guys (I assume :) around here, so please keep it up. If you have ideas for these type of posts, just drop any of us an email, we all love Rays milb. I'm most easily avalable at dougmilhoan at hotmail dot com if that helps. Thanks again everyone.

  10. As a Renegade season ticket holder I would have to agree that Brady Williams was aggressive to a fault. There was some real speed on that team last year and he did use it effectively. Sending some of the players without speed was also big in his playbook. I host a player and unlike alot of fans understand it is an instructional league where players are teasted and evaluated. He was an okay manager and just pushed a bit too hard at times. I wish him good luck in Bowling Green and cant wait to see Jared Sandberg again.

  11. For more see my latest post, doesn't answer all the questions, but gives some numbers to look at. They really did run a lot at HV last year, no doubt about it.