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Changes abound for Oakland Athletics 2018 MiLB coaching staffs

The Oakland Athletics have announced their 2018 minor league coaching staffs.

A's prospects work out at Fitch Park / Photo by Chris Lockard

The Oakland Athletics officially announced their 2018 MiLB coaching staffs on Tuesday, and there are plenty of new and familiar faces in different places for 2018.

In Nashville, the Sounds will have a new skipper, as Fran Riordan moves into that role after leading the Midland RockHounds to a Texas League title in 2017. Riordan managed in Low-A Beloit in 2016. He replaces Ryan Christenson, who is the A’s new big league bench coach.

The rest of the Sounds’ 2017 coaching staff returns for 2018, with Eric Martins continuing on as the hitting coach and Rick Rodriguez returning as the pitching coach. Athletic trainer Brad LaRosa and strength and conditioning coach Henry Torres also return to the A’s Triple-A affiliate in 2018.

The four-time defending Texas League champion Midland RockHounds will have an entirely new field staff for 2018. Scott Steinmann takes over as the RockHounds’ manager, moving up from Beloit, where he managed in 2017. The 2017 season was Steinmann’s first in the A’s organization. He previously managed in the Seattle organization.

Joining Steinmann in Midland will be 2017 Stockton Ports’ coaches Tommy Everidge (hitting) and Steve Connelly (pitching). Everidge drove-in 115 runs for the RockHounds as a first baseman in 2008. He played 201 games for the RockHounds during his minor league career. Everidge and Connelly helped guide the Ports to the post-season in 2017. Justin Whitehouse returns as athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach Omar Aguilar moves to Midland from Beloit.

Rick Magnante will return as the Stockton manager in 2018. This is his fourth season as the Ports’ skipper and his 22nd in the A’s organization as a coach and scout.

Magnante will be joined by longtime A’s minor league hitting coach Brian McArn, who returns to Stockton after coaching in Midland the last two seasons. Bryan Corey, who had an impressive debut as a pitching coach with short-season Vermont in 2017, moves into the pitching coach role in Stockton. Athletic trainer Shane Zdebiak returns and he will be joined by Matt Mosiman as the Ports strength and conditioning coach. This is Mosiman’s first season in the A’s organization.

The Beloit Snappers will have an experienced coaching staff, led by manager Webster Garrison, who has been a coach in the A’s system for 20 years (and was a player in the system before that). Garrison was the A’s Arizona Rookie League manager in 2017. He should have some of his 2017 AZL A’s roster joining him in the Midwest League this season.

Longtime A’s minor league pitching coach Don Schulze joins the Beloit staff to oversee the pitching. Schulze was in Midland in 2017, but he had been in Beloit in 2016. Juan Dilone returns to the Snappers as the hitting coach for a third season. Athletic trainer Brian Thorson also returns to Beloit.

A’s minor league field coordinator Aaron Nieckula will return in that role and reprise his dual role as the Vermont Lake Monsters’ manager for a fourth straight season. Nieckula is in his 12th season as a manager or coach in the A’s system. He led the Lake Monsters to the New York-Penn League finals in 2017.

Hitting coach Lloyd Turner returns to the Lake Monsters and Carlos Chavez joins Vermont as the pitching coach after serving in that capacity for the Snappers in 2017. Athletic trainer Toshiaki Nagahara will also return to Vermont.

In Arizona, Eddie Menchaca joins as the AZL A’s manager. He spent the past nine seasons coaching or managing in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. He also spent five seasons as a farmhand with the Mariners.

Much of the rest of the AZL staff will remain the same for 2018. Pitching coach Gabriel Ozuna, hitting coach Ruben Escalera, general coach Gabe Ortiz and athletic trainer Chris Lessner all return, while Matt Rutledge takes over as strength and conditioning coach.

Jim Eppard and Gil Patterson will return as the A’s minor league hitting and pitching coordinators, respectively, while minor league defensive coordinator Juan Navarette, minor league coordinator of instruction Ed Sprague and minor league traveling instructor Steve Scarsone are also returning to their same roles. Former A’s utiliyman Hiram Bocachica is joining the A’s minor league coaching staff as a traveling instructor.

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