"[Hawkins] has grown in his leadership within the department," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We feel he's ready to manage and thrive in the day-to-day leadership of player development and that will allow and free Ross up to still oversee player development and still provide direction and leadership in that area, but also free him up from the day-to-day responsibilities of a farm director to get more involved in other aspects of our operation."
As for the Major League coaching staff, Antonetti said he does not expect anyone to be hired by other organizations. First-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. interviewed for managerial roles with the D-backs and Twins, while bullpen coach Kevin Cash interviewed with the Rangers for their manager position. Alomar has been viewed as an up-and-coming managerial candidate for several years, while Cash has only been coaching for two years with Cleveland.
Antonetti said it should not be a surprise that Cash received such an opportunity.
"I think it was a really good job by [Rangers general manager] Jon Daniels and his staff," Antonetti said, "to identify a guy who's going to be a very good and very successful Major League manager. Kevin brings so much to an organization and has great leadership. He's great in the current role he's in as a coach. I know his title is bullpen coach, but he does far more than that in our organization. I have no doubt that, when that time comes, he'll be an extraordinary Major League manager."
Other coaches returning to manager Terry Francona's staff include bench coach Brad Mills, pitching coach Mickey Callaway, hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, assistant hitting coach Matt Quatraro and third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh.
Atkins began his tenure in the organization in 1995, playing five seasons in the Minor Leagues before becoming the team's assistant director of player development in 2001. Under his new role, Atkins will "work to enhance the connection between the organization's player acquisition areas [amateur, international and pro scouting] and the player development system," according to a release.
Atkins will also assist with the acquisition and transition process for players coming into the organization. He will also directly manage the club's special assistants and oversee the player development and Latin American operations, while continuing to be a resource for the baseball operations department.
Hawkins joined the organization in 2008 and has worked in the scouting, pro scouting and player development departments along the way. He will be charged with coordinating all aspects of the player development system.
Gillispie spent the past six seasons as the Tribe's assistant director of scouting, helping Brad Grant (director of amateur scouting) in all phases of the department. Gillispie played a role in helping manage the amateur scouting staff and planning and coordinating Cleveland's work for the First-Year Player Draft.
Steve Lubratich, who previously held the title of director of pro scouting, is remaining in the organization as a special assistant to the general manager. Lubratich will still work with Cleveland's scouting department, among other duties.