Red Sox minor league organizational changes announced
By Rick McNair
The Boston Red Sox have announced the organizational changes within the minor league system. This annual shuffling is a nice precursor to spring training.
That time of year has arrived where the organizational shuffle takes place. This annual event is not on “Dancing with the Stars,” but the movement within the hierarchy of the various teams the Boston Red Sox have in the minor league system.
The “Big Club” has already participated in the appointment of new manager Alex Cora and his own coaching staff selections.
Triple-A Pawtucket has a tweak to their staff, but manager Kevin Boles will return once again for his fifth season leading the PawSox. Boles will be joined by Bruce Crabbe and Rich Gedman, who are returning for their fourth and fifth season. The “new” addition is pitching coach Kevin Walker who joins the staff after serving a similar role for Portland Double-A. Bob Knepper – last year’s pitching coach – will have a similar role with Greenville.
Double-A Portland will have a new manager as Darren Fenster replaces Carlos Febles who is now the third base coach for Cora in Boston. Paul Abbott replaces Walker as pitching coach and Lee May, Jr. returns for a second season as the hitting coach.
Abbott, who pitched in the majors for 11 seasons, is not new to the organization having been pitching coach at the Red Sox Salem affiliate. May has an extensive baseball background and bloodline being the son of former major leaguer Lee May and nephew of Carlos May.
At Salem (High A) major league veteran catcher Joe Oliver will return as manager. This represents Oliver’s fifth season coaching in the organization. Oliver will be joined by returning hitting coach Nelson Paulino and new pitching coach Lance Carter.
Paulino is now in his 21st season with the organization including 10 seasons with the Red Sox Dominican Summer League entry. For Carter, this is his shuffle up from three seasons with the Lowell Spinners. Carter pitched in the majors for the Royals, Tampa Bay, and the Dodgers.
Iggy Suarez moves up from managing the Lowell Spinners to take over for Fenster as manager of the Greenville Drive Low-A. Suarez will be joined by pitching coach Knepper and Wilton Veras as the hitting coach. Knepper replaces Walter Miranda who will now serve as Boston’s Latin America pitching coordinator.
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The Lowell Spinners (short-season A) will have Corey Wimberly replacing Suarez as manager for the 2018 season. Wimberly, a veteran minor league player, last season was assistant manager for Greenville. This is his first managerial assignment.
Nick Green replaces Carter as pitching coach for the Spinners. Green is now in his fourth season with the organization and last season was an assistant coach with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. Hitting coach Nate Spears will be in his second season with the Spinners and had a short stay with the Red Sox in 2011 and 2012.
The Gulf Coast League Red Sox will have veteran Tom Kotchman returning for a fifth season as manager. Dick Such (pitching), Junior Zamora (hitting) and Angel Berroa (bench) will join Kotchman in the developmental GCL.
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The two Red Sox Dominican Summer League entries will be led by former major leaguer Fernando Tatis and Aly Gonzalez. Tatis is new to the organization and Gonzalez is entering his third season as a manager in the DSL.