Knuckleballer Haeger joins Rays' Minors staff

Club announces coaches, medical personnel

Knuckleballer Haeger joins Rays' Minors staff

ST. PETERSBURG -- Former Major Leaguer Charlie Haeger highlighted the Rays' announcements of the organization's Minor League on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2016 season Tuesday.

Haeger has joined the organization as a pitching coordinator. The former knuckleballer spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues with the White Sox, Padres and Dodgers. He missed the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, and last pitched in the Red Sox organization in 2013. Haeger was most recently a pitching coach for Madonna University in Livonia, Mich.

Jared Sandberg will again manage Triple-A Durham after leading the Bulls to a 74-70 finish in 2015, notching the franchise's 15th winning season in its 18-year International League history. Sandberg is entering his 21st season in professional baseball and ninth in a coaching or managerial capacity.

Pitching coach Kyle Snyder returns for a second season with the Bulls and his fifth in the Rays' organization. Ozzie Timmons, a Tampa, Fla., native and former Devil Rays and Bulls outfielder, joins the staff after a combined nine seasons at Hudson Valley, Columbus and Montgomery.

Athletic trainer Mike Sandoval and conditioning coach Bryan King will also be back with the Bulls.

Brady Williams will manage Double-A Montgomery for the third consecutive season. Williams guided the Biscuits to the Southern League North Division second-half title last season.

Pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein returns to the Biscuits, and Dan DeMent will join the staff after stops with Princeton, the Gulf Coast League Rays, Hudson Valley and Bowling Green. Athletic trainer Kris Russell and conditioning coach Paul Jones will return to the team.

Michael Johns will manage Class A Charlotte for the second consecutive season after leading the Stone Crabs to their first Florida State League title in 2015. Pitching coach Steve Watson and coach Joe Szekely also will return to the staff, as will athletic trainer Scott Thurston.

Reinaldo Ruiz will return to manage Class A Bowling Green. Pitching coach Bill Moloney and coach Manny Castillo also will return to the Hot Rods.

Athletic trainer James Ramsdell will join the Bowling Green staff after two seasons with Princeton. Conditioning coach Andrew Cook returns to Bowling Green for a second season.

The Hudson Valley Renegades (Short-Season Class A) will be managed by Tim Parenton, and he'll be joined by returning pitching coach Brian Reith. Craig Albernaz continues his coaching career with Hudson Valley after one season with Princeton. He had a nine-year playing career as a professional catcher, eight of which he spent in the Rays' organization. Athletic trainer Brian Newman and conditioning coach Dan Rousseau will be returning to Hudson Valley as well.

Danny Sheaffer will again manage the Rookie-level Princeton Rays. Sheaffer and the Rays clinched their second straight playoff appearance in 2015, coming within one strike of winning the Appalachian League championship. Pitching coach Jose Gonzalez and coach Wuarnner Rincones also will return to Princeton. Athletic trainer Jeremy Spencer joins the P-Rays following stops with the GCL Rays, Hudson Valley and Bowling Green.

The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays will again be managed by Jim Morrison. Pitching coach Marty DeMerritt and coach Hector Torres will also return to the staff. Coach Tomas Francisco will join the GCL Rays following three seasons with the Domincan Summer League Rays, while athletic trainer Shinichiro Fukuda returns to the team and will be joined by athletic trainer Ruben Santiago, who previously was with the Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic, and conditioning coach Justin Weiss, who spent the 2015 season at Charlotte.

Minor League coordinators include: field coodinators Jim Hoff and Bill Evers; pitching coordinators Dick Bosman, Dewey Robinson, Jorge Moncada and Haeger; hitting coordinators Steve Livesey and Chad Mattola; catching coordinator Paul Hoover; and outfield/baserunning coordinator Skeeter Barnes.

Other assignments include: Joe Benge (medical training coordinator), Joel Smith (rehabilitation coordinator), Chris Tomashoff (Latin America medical coordinator), Trung Cao (strength and conditioning coordinator), Tim McKechney (equipment manager) and Shane Rossetti (assistant equipment manager).

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.