Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Rods 2011 Staff: Williams, Lichtenstein, Castillo Return

Bowling Green, KY – In conjunction with their parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bowling Green Hot Rods announced that Brady Williams will return as the team’s manager for the 2011 season. Williams will be joined by pitching coach RC Lichtenstein and coach Manny Castillo, reuniting the entire field staff from the Hot Rods’ 2010 campaign.

“We are delighted to have Brady, RC, and Manny all back for 2011,” said Hot Rods President Brad Taylor. “They represent everything the Rays stand for in terms of professionalism and dedication to their jobs while also ensuring their players become positive influences in the community.”

Williams’ second season with the Hot Rods will mark his third as a manager in the Rays system. After compiling 38 wins in his debut with Hudson Valley (Short Season A) in 2009, Williams skippered the Hot Rods to 61 more last season, leaving him just one shy of his 100th managerial win. During his first season with the Hot Rods, he pushed the throttle for the team that recorded 249 stolen bases, most among all teams in affiliated baseball.

“I am looking forward to returning to Bowling Green next season,” said Williams. “The Hot Rods have a great staff, a top-notch ballpark, and a supportive fan base for our players and team. I look forward to re-connecting with those fans and trying to bring the Hot Rods their first Midwest League championship.”

The 2011 season will be Williams’ sixth in the Rays coaching ranks, but it will be the first time he spends consecutive seasons in one place. The Florida native began his coaching career in 2006 after playing five seasons of minor league ball with the Rays, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins. He was originally drafted by Boston in the 45th round of the 1999 draft.

Lichtenstein returns to Bowling Green for his third season in 2011, keeping the distinction as the only pitching coach the Hot Rods have known. In 2010, Lichtenstein mentored several prominent hurlers, including Midwest League All-Stars Alexander Colome and Wilking Rodriguez. In two seasons, the Chicago native has developed four all-stars and a pair of strikeout kings: starter Matt Moore, who led all minor league pitchers in K’s in 2009 and 2010, and right-hander Scott Shuman, the leader among Midwest League relievers with 111 strikeouts in 2010. Lichtenstein is entering his seventh season in the Rays coaching ranks and his fourth working with Williams.

Castillo is back for a second season as coach with the Hot Rods and his third straight season working with Williams. A former Major League infielder, Castillo is the longest tenured member of the Hot Rods staff, entering his 14th season coaching in the Rays system. The bulk of his time with Tampa Bay has been spent in his native Dominican Republic, serving two stints as the manager of the Rays Dominican Summer League team; State-side he has coached at every level between Rookie ball and Class AA. Prior to beginning his coaching career in 1989, Castillo played for twelve years, including three seasons in the big leagues with Kansas City (1980) and Seattle (1982-83).

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