ST. PETERSBURG — Former Rays hitting coach Steve Henderson highlighted Tuesday’s announcements of Tampa Bay’s 2017 Minor League on-field coaching and medical staffs.
Henderson, 64, served as the Rays’ big league hitting coach in 1998 and from 2006-09. He’ll take over for Chad Mottola as the Minor League hitting coordinator. Mottola held the position the past three seasons prior to being promoted to Major League hitting coach in September.
Overall, the 2017 season will mark Henderson’s 13th with the organization. He spent the past seven seasons with the Phillies as an outfield/baserunning coordinator (’10), hitting coordinator (’11-12) and Major League hitting coach (’13-16).
Henderson logged 12 Major League seasons as a player, spending time with the Mets, Cubs, Mariners, Athletics and Astros.
Other new hires for the organization include Patrick Trainor (Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator), Gary Redus (coach, Double-A Montgomery), Aaron Scott (athletic trainer, Class A Advanced Charlotte), Sean Smedley (coach, Rookie-level Princeton) and Jim Paduch (pitching coach, Gulf Coast League Rays).
The following list includes changes to the organization:
• Craig Albernaz will shift to Triple-A Durham after coaching at Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley.
• Scott Thurston, who served as Charlotte’s athletic trainer, will take the same position at Montgomery.
• Manny Castillo will coach for Charlotte after being at Class A Bowling Green.
• German Melendez will move to Charlotte after coaching the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Rays 2.
• Joe Szekely will move from coaching at Charlotte to Bowling Green.
• Hector Torres will coach Bowling Green after being with the GCL Rays.
• Alejandro Freire will coach at Hudson Valley after being at DSL Rays 2.
• Kris Russell will be Princeton’s athletic trainer after being with Montgomery.
All other Minor League personnel and staff will remain in their same positions from the 2016 season.