Baby Cakes Announce Staff
Arnie Beyeler will return as manager of the New Orleans Baby Cakes, as the Miami Marlins announced their minor league coaching assignments for the 2017 season. Joining Beyeler on the staff will be pitching coach Scott Budner, hitting coach Kevin Witt, assistant coach Robert Rodriguez, athletic trainer Greg Harrel, strength and conditioning coach Quentin Eberhardt and video assistant Jimmy Leo.
Beyeler led New Orleans to a 69-70 record in 2016, overcoming a deficit of nine games below .500 on June 1 to get back above the break-even mark in August. He spent the previous three years as first base coach for the Boston Red Sox, helping the franchise win the 2013 World Series championship. He was also the team's outfield instructor during that time, and spent 12 seasons overall in the Red Sox organization.
Beyeler has compiled an 871-826 (.513) record in 13 seasons as a minor league manager, reaching the playoffs six times. He spent nine seasons as a manager in the Red Sox system at Triple-A Pawtucket (2011-12), Double-A Portland (2007-10), Single-A Augusta (2002) and Single-A Lowell (2000-01). He guided Pawtucket to the 2012 Governors' Cup, marking the PawSox' first International League title in 28 years, and also led Portland to a pair of Eastern League playoff berths and was named the circuit's top managerial prospect by Baseball America in 2010.
Budner joins the Marlins organization after one season as pitching coach at Double-A Arkansas (Angels), where his staff tied for the Texas League lead with 15 shutouts. From 2012-15, he was on the major league staff with the Seattle Mariners, and was a pitching coach in Seattle's minor league system from 2000-08. Budner's coaching debut came in 1988 as pitching coach at Jacksonville University, before becoming a coach in the Oakland Athletics system from 1990-94. A sixth-round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 1977, Budner pitched for seven seasons in the Giants and Orioles organizations, reaching as high as Triple-A.
Selected 28th overall in the 1994 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Witt spent parts of five seasons in the majors with Toronto, San Diego, Detroit and Tampa Bay between 1998 and 2006. Across 12 minor league campaigns, he slugged 269 home runs, including a Pacific Coast League-leading 36 with Memphis in 2004, a total he matched with Durham in 2006 when he was named International League Most Valuable Player. After concluding his playing career with a stint in Japan in 2007, Witt joined Marucci Elite Houston as the organization's Director of Player Development.
A Miami native, Rodriguez makes his debut in the Marlins system after spending 10 years coaching high school and travel teams, most recently serving as the head baseball instructor for the Total Baseball Sports Academy Patriots and the hitting and catching instructor at Northside Christian School in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rodriguez, whose younger brother Sean currently plays for the Atlanta Braves, spent five minor league seasons in the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals system.
Harrel rejoins the Marlins following 10 seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the last two of which were spent with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was also the trainer as a member of the Texas Rangers system from 1992-2002. He was on the Dodgers' major league training staff from 2012-14. Harrel previously worked as the Marlins' Triple-A athletic trainer in Albuquerque in 2004, and also spent time in the Padres organization.
Eberhardt returns to New Orleans for a fourth season and his eighth in professional baseball, which includes stints in the Astros and Braves systems. Leo comes to New Orleans as video assistant after serving in the same capacity at Single-A Advanced Jupiter in 2016.
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