11/30/2010 1:40 PM ET
A's Announce Appointments to Minor League Coaching Staffs
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland Athletics today announced coaching and training staffs for their Minor League affiliates in Sacramento (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League), Midland (Double-A, Texas League), Stockton (Single-A, California League) and Burlington (Single-A, Midwest League) for the 2011 season. The team said it will announce appointments at Vermont (Short-Season A, New York-Penn League) and Arizona (Rookie, Arizona League) when those staffs are completed.
Sacramento, Midland and Stockton will feature entirely new coaching staffs next season, while Burlington-which was recently added to the A's farm system to replace Single-A Kane County-will be comprised of the same staff that coached at Kane County last year.
Darren Bush, who steered Midland to the 2009 Texas League championship during his two seasons with the Double-A Rockhounds, has been promoted to manager of Triple-A Sacramento. Bush owns a 288-272 managerial record (.514) in four seasons in Oakland's farm system, serving as manager of Single-A Stockton in 2007-08 before assuming the reins in Midland in 2009. He guided the Stockton Ports to a California League title in 2008.
Joining Bush in the Capitol City will be pitching coach Scott Emerson and hitting coach Todd Steverson. Emerson served in the same capacity for Midland the past four seasons, while Steverson returns to Sacramento after two years as first base coach on Bob Geren's major league staff. Steverson had previous managerial stints with the Sacramento (2008), Midland (2007) and Stockton (2005-06). Brad LaRosa remains the River Cats' head trainer in 2011.
Steve Scarsone, who orchestrated a remarkable second-half reversal at Stockton last year, has been promoted to manager of Double-A Midland. Scarsone, in his second year in the A's minor league system, transformed a Ports club that posted a 31-39 record in the first half to a unit that won the second half of the California League with a 43-27 mark. This is Scarsone's first opportunity to manage on the Double-A level, having previously led Single-A clubs with South Bend (2001) and Lancaster (2002) in the Diamondbacks' organization, and with Kane County (2009) in the A's system. His 2011 staff will be comprised of pitching coach Don Schulze and hitting coach Tim Garland, both of whom worked under Scarsone at Stockton last year. Justin Whitehouse returns to Midland for another season as athletic trainer.
Webster Garrison, hitting coach for Midland the past two seasons, has been elevated to manager of the Stockton Ports. Garrison owns previous managerial experience with the Oakland organization, having managed Midland in both 2004 and 2008, while leading Kane County to the first round of the Midwest League playoffs in 2003 and Single-A Visalia to the California League wild card series in 2002. He began his managerial career at Vancouver in 2001 and currently boasts a 334-302 (.525) record as a minor league manager. His 2011 Ports staff will include pitching coach Craig Lefferts and hitting coach Brian McArn.
Lefferts will enter his ninth season as pitching coach in Oakland's minor league system, having spent the previous seven years at Short-A Vancouver. McArn will begin his 14th campaign in the A's organization as a hitting coach, serving the past six seasons with Sacramento, the 2004 season with Midland and six previous years (1998-2003) with Modesto. The team also announced that Nathan Brooks will return as trainer for the Ports.
Burlington will feature the same Kane County staff of last year with Manager Aaron Nieckula, Pitching Coach Jimmy Escalante, Hitting Coach Haas Pratt and Trainer Brian Thorson all back. Nieckula returned to manage Kane County last season after previously managing the Cougars from 2006-08. His 2010 club finished 71-67 overall.
The complete list of coaching staffs for Sacramento, Midland, Stockton and Burlington:
Triple-A Sacramento: Darren Bush, Manager; Scott Emerson, Pitching Coach; Todd Steverson, Hitting Coach.
Double-A Midland: Steve Scarson, Manager; Don Schulze, Pitching Coach; Tim Garland, Hitting Coach.
Single-A Stockton: Webster Garrison, Manager; Craig Lefferts, Pitching Coach; Brian McArn, Hitting Coach.
Single-A Burlington: Aaron Nieckula, Manager; Jimmy Escalante, Pitching Coach; Haas Pratt, 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); Burlington Bees (Single-A; Midwest League); Vermont Lake Monsters (Short-Season A; New York-Penn League); and Arizona Athletics (Rookie; Arizona League).