The wait is over for the announcement of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ 2018 manager and coaching staff.
As previously reported by our own Matt Kardos on January 1, the manager of the RailRiders will be Bobby Mitchell, former manager of the Trenton Thunder. He will be replacing Al Pedrique, now the first base coach with the Oakland Athletics.
The team also announced his staff would consist of Phil Plantier as the hitting coach, Tommy Phelps (Returning from last season) as the pitching coach, Doug Davis as the bullpen coach, and Travis Chapman as the defensive coach. Darren London, athletic trainer, and Brad Hyde, strength coach will also be returning this season.
Mitchell, 62, spent the previous two seasons managing the Yankees Double-A affiliate Trenton Thunder. Over his time there he led Trenton to 179 total wins and two Eastern Division titles in the Eastern League. The Thunder made it to the Eastern League Championship Series in both seasons where they would ultimately lose.
“From top to bottom, the Yankees have a lot of young talent moving up the ladder,” Mitchell said in a press release from the RailRiders. “The whole system is packed with prospects, and that is a really good thing. Honestly, the most satisfying part of the job is seeing guys make that jump to the big leagues. Knowing our guys are driven and are going to work hard for that goal makes us all excited to get this season going.”
Phelps has been the RailRiders’ pitching coach for the last two seasons. He was the pitching coach for the Thunder from 2009 – 2014, The Class A-Advanced Tampa Yankees (now Tampa Tarpons) in 2015, and now in his third year for the Triple-A RailRiders. The 2018 season will be his tenth year in the Yankees organization.
This season will be Plantier’s first season with the Yankees organization. He was the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres from 2012 to 2014 and spent time as a manager, hitting coach, and hitting coordinator in the Seattle Mariners organization.
Davis is coming into his second season with the Yankees. He was on the staff of the Florida Marlins when they won their World Series Championship in 2003, he won a South Atlantic League title with Columbia in 1998, and won a New York-Penn League title with Pittsfield in 1997.
For Chapman, this will be his sixth year in the Yankees system. He managed the Yankees 2017 Dominican Summer League team and spent two years as the defensive coach for the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs.