Jacksonville Sports Day

BASEBALL: Jumbo Shrimp Announce 2017 Field Staff

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, announced on Thursday that Randy Ready will serve as the club’s manager for the 2017 season. Ready is joined by pitching coach and Jacksonville native Storm Davis, hitting coach Jesus Merchan, and coach Angel Espada, all entering their first season in Jacksonville. Returning to Jacksonville from last year’s field staff are athletic trainer Cesar Roman, strength and conditioning coach Robert Reichert, and video assistant Keanan Lamb.

This will be Ready’s second season in the Marlins organization, after leading the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads last season, when they finished with a 68-69 record overall and a 37-32 mark in the second half of the Florida State League season.

“To start, I’m looking forward to a 2017 championship season,” Ready said. “With such a long history and tradition in Jacksonville, now we begin a new era, becoming the Jumbo Shrimp. I believe the Marlins organization shouldn’t disappoint as a whole with our competitiveness and the players we’re going to be putting on the field this year.”

Prior to joining the Marlins organization, Ready spent 2015 coaching the Dallas Tigers Select 16 U team which was the Perfect Game World Series champion. In 2013, Ready was the manager of Triple-A Gwinnett in the Braves organization. Prior to that, he was Minor League hitting coordinator for the Texas Rangers in 2012 and was the Major League hitting coach for the San Diego Padres for three seasons (2009-11). He began his coaching career with Detroit as manager of Short-A affiliate Oneonta from 2002-03. He also served as manager in the Padres organization with Triple-A Portland (2008-09), Double-A San Antonio (2007), and Single-A Fort Wayne (2004-06). He reached the postseason in each of his first six years overall as manager, including a Texas League championship in 2007.

A sixth-round draft pick in 1980 by the Milwaukee Brewers, Ready appeared in 777 big league games over parts of 13 Major League seasons with Milwaukee (1983-86), San Diego (1986-89), Philadelphia (1989-91, 1994-95), Oakland (1992) and Montreal (1993) while batting .259 with 40 home runs and 239 RBI.

Davis, a graduate of University Christian High School and a Jacksonville resident in the offseason, is in his second season in the Marlins organization after serving as the pitching coach for the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs in 2016. Davis was previously a pitching coach in the Chicago Cubs organization for three years from 2013-15. He spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Southern League as the pitching coach for the Tennessee Smokies, and was the High-A Daytona Cubs pitching coach in 2013. Davis was also the pitching coach for the Single-A Hickory Crawdads from 2011-12. Davis has also coached in Jacksonville before, serving two stints as the head baseball coach at The Bolles School from 1997-2001 and 2008-09. Davis pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons from 1982-94, and was a member of three World Series clubs, winning it all with the Baltimore Orioles (1983) and Oakland Athletics (1989). Overall, he posted a 113-96 record and 4.02 ERA over 442 games (239 starts) in the Major Leagues.

Merchan is in his first season as a professional coach. He spent 13 years playing in the minors, spending time with Minnesota (2000-05), Philadelphia (2005-07), Seattle (2007), Arizona (2008), Cleveland (2009), Toronto (2010), Florida (2011), Colorado (2011), and San Diego (2013). While playing in the Mariners system in 2007, he appeared in 24 games in the Southern League playing for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (now Jackson Generals). Merchan played for the Spain national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Espada joins Double-A Jacksonville as coach after spending the previous five seasons as the manager of the Marlins’ Short Season-A affiliate, and last four years with the Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. Espada spent the 2012 season as the manager of the Jamestown Jammers, and also the year before as the Jammers’ hitting coach. Prior to his time with Jamestown, he spent two years working as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Marlins. Espada had a 14-year playing career in the Braves, Mets, and Yankees systems, and had a .305 career batting average over 940 games played.

Roman is in his 11th year overall as a trainer in the Marlins organization and fourth season in Jacksonville. Before the Marlins, he worked in the Texas Rangers organization (2003-06). He served as an athletic trainer in the World Baseball Classic for Team Puerto Rico in 2009 and 2013 and for Team Panama in 2006.

Reichert is in his second year in Jacksonville after serving as the club’s strength and conditioning coach last season. Reichert has been in the Marlins organization since 2012, and has also assisted players with Triple-A New Orleans and the rookie level Gulf Coast League Marlins. Reichert graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.

Lamb is in his second season in Jacksonville and in the Marlins organization. He spent the 2015 season as a minor league video assistant in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Lamb is a 2014 graduate of the University of Oregon, and resides in Jacksonville during the offseason.

The Jumbo Shrimp open the 2017 Southern League season Thursday, April 6, in Pearl, Mississippi, against the Mississippi Braves. The inaugural Jumbo Shrimp home opener is Wednesday, April 12, at 7:05 p.m. against the Chattanooga Lookouts at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

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