Three new faces will join the current coaches for the Rawhide’s 2018 season
VISALIA – There will be some familiar and new faces in the dugout for the Visalia Rawhide when they take the field this 2018 season. Joe Mather will be the new field manager for the Rawhide. Jeff Bajenaru will be the only returning positions coach on the staff after his awarding season.
“We look forward to welcoming Joe as the manager of the Rawhide and to continuing the recent success we’ve seen on the field,” said Rawhide general manager Jennifer Reynolds. “We’re excited for the great staff that he has put together as well.”
This is Mather’s second managerial role with the Diamondbacks in four seasons. His first was with the Rookie-Advanced Missoula Osprey in 2015. He led the team to a 42-33 record, a Pioneer League North Division title, and eventually the league championship.
Mather was third-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2001 draft. His four year Major League Career saw playing time with St. Louis, Atlanta Braves, and the Chicago Cubs.
Bajenaru, who is coming off his California League Coach of the Year, will continue as pitching coach. In Bajenaru’s three years with the Rawhide they’ve led the Cal League in ERA (3.79) and strikeouts (1,346). This will be his eighth year with the Diamondbacks organization.
Former World Series Champion Franklin Stubbs will take over a hitting coach for the Rawhide. This is his third season as a coach in the Diamondbacks organization. Stubbs enjoyed a 10-year Major League career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he won a 1988 World Series championship. He also had stays with the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, and Detroit Tigers.
Travis Denker is another new face. This will be his coaching debut and joining the Rawhide staff as the coach, Denker saw a 12-year Minor League career with six organizations. In 2008 he had a 24-game span where he played in the majors with the San Francisco Giants.
Chris Schepel and Derek Sommerville will round out the Rawhide coaching staff for this upcoming season as trainer and strength and conditioning coach respectively. Both will be entering their second seasons.