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11/18/2008 1:02 PM ET
Athletics announce appointments to Minor League coaching staffs
Bush (Midland), Nieckula (Stockton), Scarsone (Kane Co.) named managers with A's affiliates
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OAKLAND -- The Oakland Athletics have announced the following changes to their Minor League affiliate coaching ranks for the 2009 season: Darren Bush has been named manager and Webster Garrison hitting coach at Double-A Midland of the Texas League; Aaron Nieckula has been appointed manager and Don Schulze pitching coach at Single-A Stockton of the California League; Steve Scarsone has been named manager and Jimmy Escalante pitching coach at Single-A Kane County of the Midwest League; Craig Lefferts was appointed pitching coach and Casey Myers hitting coach for Single-A (short season) Vancouver; and Marcus Jensen was named manager, Ariel Prieto pitching coach and Juan Dilone hitting coach of the A's entry in the Arizona Rookie League.

The Athletics also announced the coaching staff of its Triple-A Sacramento affiliate, which stormed to the 2008 Triple-A and Pacific Coast League championships, will remain intact for 2009. In addition, the club has promoted Garvin Alston to special instructor, pitching and rehabilitation, and Chad Yaconetti as assistant clubhouse manager for Oakland's complex in Arizona. Alston previously was pitching coach for Oakland's Single-A teams in Stockton (2007-08) and Kane County (2005-06).

Bush joins Midland after serving as manager of the Stockton Ports for the past two years, posting a 140-140 mark. He steered the Ports to a 76-64 record last season en route to the California League title. Bush first joined the Athletics in 2005 as hitting coach at Stockton, a role he served for two years. Garrison, who returned for his second stint as Midland's manager last season (he previously held the post in 2004), has been reassigned as hitting coach for the Double-A affiliate.

Nieckula and Schulze will relocate from Kane County, where they held similar roles. In three seasons at Kane County, Nieckula compiled a .514 winning percentage (214-202) as manager. Schulze, a former first round pick (1980, Cubs) who pitched for Chicago, Cleveland, San Diego and both New York teams, served as pitching coach at Kane County the past two seasons.

Scarsone, who played seven seasons as a Major League utility infielder with Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, St. Louis and Kansas City, begins his first year in the Oakland organization after logging managerial stints with South Bend (Midwest League, 2001) and Lancaster (California League, 2002). He enjoyed his most success with the Giants from 1993-96, with his best season being 1995 when he batted .266 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI. Escalante joins Scarsone as Kane County's pitching coach, previously holding the same position with the A's short-season Single-A club in Vancouver.

Lefferts will enter his seventh season as a pitching coach in the A's Minor League system, moving from Oakland's Arizona Rookie League club to assume the same duties with Vancouver. Myers, a player-coach with Midland last season, will now serve full-time as hitting coach for Vancouver.

Jensen, a former big league catcher with several clubs and member of the 2000 U. S. Olympics Gold medal team, begins his third season of Minor League coaching with the A's and his first as a manager. Prieto, a former Oakland first-round draft choice (fifth pick, 1995), joins Jensen as the Arizona A's pitching coach, while Dilone leaves his position of coordinator of Dominican instruction to become hitting coach. The complete list of coaching staffs for the A's Minor League affiliates:

Triple-A Sacramento: Todd Steverson, Manager; Rick Rodriguez, Pitching Coach; Brian McArn, Hitting Coach.

Double-A Midland: Darren Bush, Manager; Scott Emerson, Pitching Coach; Webster Garrison, Hitting Coach.

Single-A Stockton: Aaron Nieckula, Manager; Donald Schulze, Pitching Coach; Tim Garland, Hitting Coach.

Single-A Kane County: Steve Scarsone, Manager; Jimmy Escalante, Pitching Coach: Haas Pratt, Hitting Coach.

Single-A Vancouver: Rick Magnante, Manager; Craig Lefferts, Pitching Coach; Casey Myers, Hitting Coach.

Rookie Arizona: Marcus Jensen, Manager, Ariel Prieto, Pitching Coach; Juan Dilone, Hitting Coach.

The Oakland Athletics Minor League system consists of the Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League), Midland RockHounds (Double-A; Texas League), Stockton Ports (Single-A; California League), Kane County Cougars (Single-A; Midwest League), Vancouver Canadians (Short-A; Northwest League) and Arizona Athletics (Rookie League).
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