Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ICYMI: Tamp Yankees Announce 2015 Coaching Staff

Tampa, Fla. - The New York Yankees Player Development office has officially announced the 2015 Tampa Yankees Field Staff. The team's new Manager will be Dave Bialas with Pitching Coach Tommy Phelps and Hitting Coach Tom Slater. Returning from the 2014 season are Coach JD Closser, Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Siara, and Athletic Trainer Michael Becker.

Dave Bialas begins his first season in the Yankees organization and enters his 44th season of professional baseball as either a player (1972-82) or coach/manager (1982-present). He has a minor league managerial record of 965-968 (.499), having previously managed in the Cardinals (1982-92) and Cubs (2000-01, 2012) systems. He has earned a league's "Manager of the Year" honor twice including with the Florida State League in 1987. He served as the Atlanta Braves minor league field coordinator from 2013-14. Bialas was selected by St. Louis in the fourth round of the 1972 First-Year Player Draft and spent his entire professional career in the Cardinals minor league system (1972-82).

Tommy Phelps enters his eighth season as a coach in the Yankees organization and his first with Tampa. He spent six seasons as the pitching coach for Double-A Trenton (2009-14) after serving as the Yankees' minor league rehabilitation coach in 2008. Most recently, the Trenton pitching staff ranked second in the Eastern League in strikeouts in 2014 (1,093) and allowed the fewest home runs in 2013 (85). Phelps pitched for 14 seasons from 1993-2006 in the Montreal (1993-99), Detroit (2000-01), Florida (2002-04), Milwaukee (2005) and Yankees (2006) organizations.

Tom Slater enters his seventh season as a coach or instructor in the Yankees organization and his first with Tampa. He most recently served as the Yankees' minor league hitting instructor in 2013 and 2014and was Double-A Trenton's hitting coach in 2012, helping the Thunder lead the Eastern League in home runs and slugging percentage. He managed short-season Single-A Staten Island in 2011, winning the NYPL Championship. He also served as the GCL Yankees manager in 2009 and 2010, leading the team to a first-place finish in '09. Prior to joining the Yankees, he spent four seasons (2005-08) as the head coach at Auburn University.

JD Closser returns for a second season with Tampa after making his professional coaching debut with the club in 2014. In 2012 and 2013, he worked as a coach in the USA Baseball National Team Development Programs. Closser was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft and spent four seasons in the Diamondbacks' minor league system (1998-2001) before he was traded to the Rockies and spent five seasons in their organization (2002-06). Closser made his Major League debut on 6/30/04 and played in 36 games with Colorado that season.

Michael Becker begins his fourth season as a trainer in the Yankees organization and second with Tampa. He worked with Single-A Charleston in 2013 and short-season Single-A Staten Island in 2012. He previously worked as an athletic training student intern at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes- Barre during the 2010 season and graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in athletic training in 2011.

Joe Siara enters his third season as a strength and conditioning coach in the Yankees organization and his second with Tampa. He spent 2013 with short-season Single-A Staten Island. Siara graduated in 2006 from Indiana University with a degree in kinesiology and exercise science. In 2008, he received a master's degree in human performance from the University of Florida.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)