New pitching coach Steve Kline and fundamentals coach Nestor Rojas to join returning hitting coach Damon Minor
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento River Cats, in conjunction with the San Francisco Giants, are thrilled to welcome back Dave Brundage for his second season as manager of the River Cats for the 2018 season.
Brundage will be joined by a few new faces for the 2018 season at Raley Field. While Damon Minor will return for his third season as the River Cats hitting coach, he will be joined by new pitching coach Steve Kline and fundamentals coach Nestor Rojas. The new training staff will be made up of athletic trainer David Getsoff and strength and conditioning coach Andy King. Travis Higgs will round out the club’s 2018 field staff, and will serve as bullpen catcher and team administrator.
An Oregon native, Brundage joined the River Cats in 2017 and compiled a 64-77 record in his 20th season as a minor league manager. Before coming to Sacramento, the veteran manager spent the previous four seasons with the International League’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 2016, Brundage led the IronPigs to an 85-58 record, the second best mark in all of Triple-A baseball.
Brundage, 53, made his managerial debut in 1995 with the Riverside Pilots (Seattle Mariners Class A-Advanced) but has spent most of his managerial career at either the Double- or Triple-A levels. Prior to his four seasons with Lehigh Valley, Brundage helmed the Richmond/Gwinnett Braves for six seasons from 2007 through 2012. He made his Triple-A debut in 2006 with the Pacific Coast League’s Tacoma Rainiers. Brundage has a career record of 1,435-1,392 (.508) in 20 seasons as a manager including a 857-858 (.499) mark at the Triple-A level.
Drafted in the 4th round of the 1986 Amateur Draft out of Oregon State University, Brundage spent 10 seasons as a player in the Minor Leagues with the Phillies and Mariners organizations.
Minor, 43, returns to the River Cats for his third season as hitting coach. In his second year with the team, Minor worked closely with Triple-A newcomers and top Giants’ prospects Christian Arroyo, Chris Shaw, and Ryder Jones as they prepared for their Major League debuts.
A former Giant, Minor was drafted by San Francisco in 1996 and made his Major League debut in 2000. In 136 games over parts of four seasons, Minor hit .232 with 13 home runs. He set a career-high in 2002 when he played in 83 games and slugged 10 home runs, helping the Giants claim the National League pennant. While in the Giants farm system, he compiled a .277 batting average with 179 home runs and 648 RBI across nine seasons.
Kline, 45, joins the River Cats as pitching coach after serving in the same role for three seasons with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels and nine seasons overall with the organization. While in Richmond, Kline helped in the development of several River Cats standouts, including Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez, and Tyler Rogers. Kline led the Giants Double-A affiliate to a top-five pitching staff (in team ERA) in each of his three Eastern League seasons, including a league-leading 3.12 team ERA in 2015.
Kline completed his 11-year Major League career as a lefty reliever with the Giants in 2007. All told, he appeared in 796 MLB games with five different organizations. The Pennsylvania native was an 8th round selection by the Cleveland Indians in the 2003 draft out of the University of West Virginia. He set the single –season record for appearances (89) in 2001 while with St. Louis, and led the National League in games played as a pitcher for three consecutive seasons (1999-2001).
Rojas, 34, will join the River Cats as fundamentals coach after managing the Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants in 2017. Since retiring at the end of the 2010 season, Rojas immediately began his coaching career and has been a bright up-and-coming coaching talent in the Giants organization. Rojas landed his first managerial job in 2013 at age 29 with the Arizona Rookie League Giants, and led them to a 41-14 record. Prospects (and future River Cats) Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones each began their professional careers as teenagers under Rojas during that 2013 season.
A native of Venezuela, Rojas played for six seasons in the Giants organization, including two stints with Triple-A Fresno in 2009 and 2010.
Rounding out the field staff will be a new athletic training and strength and conditioning duo. David Getsoff will join the River Cats as the athletic trainer in his 10th season with the Giants Organization, while Andy King will be the River Cats strength and conditioning coach in what will be his fifth season with the Giants. Travis Higgs will return as the team’s bullpen catcher in 2018.
Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations