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2006 Astros Minor League Coaching Staffs

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The Astros on Friday announced the coaching staffs for their 2006 minor league affiliates, and the appointments remain largely the same as those from 2005, when none of their farm teams made their league playoffs.

At AAA Round Rock, Jackie Moore is the only manager the Express have ever had, and he and his 2005 coaching staff have been retained intact:

  • Manager:  Jackie Moore
  • Pitching Coach:  Burt Hooton
  • Hitting Coach:  Harry Spilman
  • Trainer:  Mike Freer

Corpus Christi has also returned its entire staff from 2005, and former Astros utilityman Dave Clark, whom we had heard good things of from Hooks beat reporter Greg Rajan, will manage the Astros' AA affiliate again in 2006:

  • Manager: Dave Clark
  • Pitching Coach: Joe Slusarski
  • Hitting Coach: John Tamargo
  • Trainer: Jamey Snodgrass

There is a change for the High A Salem Avalanche, who were managed in 2005 by Ivan DeJesus. But DeJesus takes over in 2006 at Greeneville, and Jim Pankovits, most recently a roving instructor for Houston, will settle down again in Virginia as manager of the Astros' Carolina League affiliate.  Pankovits--also a former marginally successful utilityman for Houston--last managed in the Astros' system in 1999, for the final edition Jackson Generals.  His coaching staff will be the same one employed by DeJesus in 2005, including the inimitable Chuck "E." Carr:

  • Manager: Jim Pankovits
  • Pitching Coach: Stan Boroski
  • Hitting Coach: Chuck Carr  
  • Trainer:  Eric Montague  

The South Atlantic League Lexington Legends were probably 2005's most successful affiliate in that they played for a first-half title, and they were managed to that point by former Astro glove whiz Tim Bogar. But Bogar took a Double A job in the Indians' system over the winter, and the Astros have made one of only two new hires to replace him.  New  Legends manager Jack Lind is 59 years old, and spent the last two years managing in the Mets' system.   He was actually a seventh round pick for the Astros in 1967, and played for Astros' affiliates at Asheville, Greensboro, and Oklahoma City before making his major league debut for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974.  Lind will be joined by Charley Taylor, the most tenured coach in the organization, who is returning for his 25th year as an Astros minor league pitching coach.

  • Manager: Jack Lind
  • Pitching Coach: Charley Taylor
  • Hitting Coach: Rodney Linares
  • Trainer:  Mike Smith

The Tri City ValleyCats have yet to announce their 2006 staff on their website, but according to a story at Minor League Baseball.com, Manager Greg Langbehn will return, as will his pitching coach and his trainer from 2005.  Jorge Orta, who was Hitting Coach in 2005, has departed for points unknown to me, and will be replaced by Joel Chimelis, who performaed the same function for the 2004 and 2005 Savannah Sand Gnats, a South Atlantic League entry for the Expos/Nationals franchise:

  • Manager: Greg Langbehn
  • Pitching Coach: Don Alexander
  • Hitting Coach: Joel Chimelis  
  • Trainer:  John Patton  

After being led to a title in their first year of existence by Bogar, the Rookie-level Greeneville Astros were guided by 53-year baseball veteran Russ Nixon in 2005, and I had thought at the time that a man of Nixon's years might have been a strange choice to skipper a team made up of 19-year-olds.  I guess the Astros have come to agree with me, as Nixon has taken Pankovits' old spot as roving instructor, and Ivan DeJesus takes over as manager for the Appy-League Astros.  He is complemented by the rest of the club's 2005 staff:

  • Manager: Ivan DeJesus
  • Pitching Coach: Bill Ballou  
  • Hitting Coach: Pete Rancont
  • Trainer:  JD Shields  

Speaking of the minors, you may wish to check out an interview with 2005 Corpus Christi Hook Jason Hirsh that had been conducted by MiLB.com's Jonathan Mayo at the recent Career Development Program in Virginia:

Check It Out.

Interesting, the question from Mayo and the resulting comments from the young righthander concerning the Rocket, I thought.