Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stone Crabs 2011 Staff: Morrison And Szekely Return, Watson New Pitching Coach

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Charlotte Stone Crabs will defend their second consecutive FSL South division title with some familiar faces in the dugout: manager Jim Morrison and hitting coach Joe Szekely will return with Steve Watson joining them as pitching coach for the upcoming 2011 season.

Morrison, 58, returns for his third year as manager of the Stone Crabs and fourth consecutive year as the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays High-A affiliate after managing the Vero Beach Devil Rays in 2008. He led the Stone Crabs to a 1st half division title and an 80-59 overall record last year, while guiding the club to a second straight trip to the FSL Championship Series.

The former Major League infielder enters his 27th season in professional baseball and fifth season in the Rays’ organization. Before reaching the High-A level, Morrison managed the Low-A Columbus Catfish to a South Atlantic League title in 2007, and he also served stints as a roving infield instructor, coach and manager in the Philadelphia Phillies organization for seven years from 2000-06.

Before entering the coaching ranks in 2000, Morrison enjoyed a 15-year playing career as an infielder, including 12 major league seasons with the Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Tigers and Braves before retiring in 1988. In 1,089 career games, he batted .260 with 112 home runs and 371 RBIs. He currently resides in Bradenton, Fla.

Steve Watson joins the Stone Crabs as the only newcomer on the 2011 coaching staff after serving three seasons in the Florida Marlins organization. Watson, a graduate of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, served as the pitching coach for the Jupiter Hammerheads (A) last season and previously coached in the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds organizations.

Szekely, 49, also returns for a third season with the Stone Crabs after serving in the same capacity last year. He enters his seventh season in the Rays’ organization with four years spent as a manager in Princeton, Vero Beach, Visalia and Southwestern Michigan. Under his tutelage, Stone Crabs hitters compiled a .259 batting average with 503 runs scored during the 2010 season. Szekely spent six seasons with the Kansas City Royals organization before joining the Rays in 2005. Before coaching, he played 11 Minor League seasons with four different organizations.


  1. They (HV) don't send us (me anyway) advanced releases of their PR's like the other affiliates. Which is why they don't get as much coverage here as the other affiliates. That's all I'm sayin' about it.

  2. Doug you are not alone. They were the only affiliate that did not send a PR on the assignments for the 2011 season.

  3. I probably shouldn't have brought that up, but I'm grouchy, it's 10 degrees and snowing (for the 4th day in a row). Apparently that makes me mad at Bill Murray.

    Also, if anyone wants to send in a question for former Rays farmhand John Mollicone, send to dougmilhoan@raysprospects.com or post it here. Hope to get those off to him tomorrow.

    And also, I tweaked some of the site today, is the new look OK? Did you even notice? I had a major revision ready but it would have screwed up the formatting on 1000's of older posts, so I just made some minor changes for now.

    Stay warm my friends.

  4. Who should I talk to on the Renegades staff to try to get them to send you updates? Head of PR? Manager? We'd love to read lots of articles about the Gades.

  5. The GM isnt a warm and fuzzy kinda guy lots of luck with him.

  6. You've got a point there, but, is there anyone else who can release info to you, besides the GM, or does it have to be him. Hey, I'll see what I can do, but it might take some time. You have a lot of Renegades fans and I know we'd love coverage throughout the season.