Cubs announce 2017 Minor League coordinators

The Chicago Cubs today announced the club's minor league coordinators for the 2017 season.

Tim Cossins returns for his fifth season as the organization's minor league field and catching coordinator following 10 years in the Miami Marlins farm system, including the final six as the minor league catching coordinator. He was also a manager in the Marlins minor league system from 2003-07. Cossins began his coaching career in 2000 and in 2001-02 was the Major League bullpen catcher for Kansas City. The former catcher played eight minor league seasons (1993-2000) in the Rangers, Yankees and Expos organizations.

Jim Brower starts his second year as the Cubs minor league pitching coordinator after spending 2013-15 as the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals Double-A affiliate, Northwest Arkansas. He served in the same role for two seasons at Single-A Kane County prior to joining Northwest Arkansas. Brower appeared in nine big league seasons, going 33-32 with a 4.67 ERA (298 ER/574.0 IP) with 397 strikeouts in 354 major league games (28 starts). The righthander led the majors with 89 appearances in 2004 with San Francisco.

Andy Haines enters his second year as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator after spending 2014-15 as manager of the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, New Orleans. In 2012, Haines led Single-A Jupiter to the Florida State League Championship Series, falling one game short of capturing the title. All told, Haines was a manager in the Marlins system for seven years, compiling a 449-467 (.490) record. Prior to joining the Marlins, he was the manager of the Windy City Thunderbolts of the independent Frontier League, going 68-28, in 2007.

Jose Flores returns for his fifth season as minor league infield coordinator, and his 17th year as a coach or manager. Flores spent two seasons as manager of the Puerto Rico National baseball team (2011-12) and was a bench coach for Ponce Leones in the Puerto Rico Baseball League (2010). He handled similar duties for the Gaguas Criollos baseball club in 2008, the same year he managed the Cleveland Indians Dominican Summer League team. After playing six seasons in Houston's minor league system (1990-95), he began his coaching career in the Puerto Rico Winter League (2001-06).

Doug Dascenzo begins his third year as the organization's minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator. Dascenzo has 18 years of coaching experience following a career that saw him play in parts of seven seasons in the majors, including five with the Cubs from 1988 to 1992. Prior to joining the Cubs, Dascenzo spent the previous three seasons with Atlanta, including serving as the third base coach for the major league club in 2014. After retiring from baseball, he coached in the Padres farm system from 1999 to 2011, including six seasons as a minor league manager.

Dave Keller enters his 32nd season as a minor league coach or manager, his 14th year in the Cubs organization and his third as minor league Latin America field coordinator. He managed Single-A Daytona in 2013-14 and led the club to the 2013 Florida State League title after he served as Iowa's hitting coach in 2012. In 2011, he was the Cubs major league staff assistant after seven years (2004-10) as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator. Keller was a major league staff assistant and bullpen catcher for Cleveland from 2001-03 following two years as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator. He managed in the minor leagues in the Cincinnati (1987-89), Cleveland (1990-94) and White Sox (1996) organizations, and was named the 1993 Carolina League Manager of the Year with Single-A Kinston. The former first baseman played in the Reds organization for three seasons (1982-84).

Mike Mason begins his fourth season as assistant pitching coordinator after spending the previous six years as Triple-A Iowa's pitching coach. He has 25 years of coaching experience following a seven-year big league playing career with Texas (1982-87), the Cubs (1987) and Minnesota (1988). Prior to joining the Cubs, he served as Kansas City's minor league pitching coordinator (2004-07), while also handling interim pitching coach duties at the Major League level in 2004. Mason served as pitching coach for Philadelphia's Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre club in 2002-03 after serving as Kansas City's minor league pitching instructor the previous two seasons (2000-01). He began his coaching career in Kansas City's minor league system from 1991-99.

Tom Beyers returns for his 18th season with the Cubs organization, and his third as the minor league assistant hitting coordinator, following two seasons as Single-A Kane County's hitting coach. He was the short-season hitting coordinator in 2012 following one season as the minor league hitting coordinator in 2011. Beyers joined the Cubs in 2000 and was a minor league manager or coach for 11 seasons, including manager of Single-A Boise in 2004, a season in which he led the club to the Northwest League title and earned league manager of the year honors. A former outfielder, he spent his first 21 seasons in professional baseball with the Dodgers as a player, coach or manager after he was selected by Los Angeles in the 15th round of the 1979 Draft.

Josh Lifrak returns for his third season with the Cubs as the club's director, mental skills program. He is tasked with the development, implementation and supervision of the Cubs mental skills training program for all levels of the organization. Prior to joining the Cubs, he spent 10 years as the Senior Mental Conditioning Consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Lifrak earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island in 1994 and earned a Masters of Science, Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Psychology from Ithaca College in 2005.

Rey Fuentes begins his fifth season with the organization and second as Latin Coordinator, Mental Skills Program, following two years as cultural programs coordinator. In this role, he oversees all educational classes and mental skills programs for the Cubs Latin American players. Prior to joining the Cubs, he coached and taught physical education in the Orlando area. Fuentes graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., in 2002 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education.

Darnell McDonald begins his third season as the organization's mental skills program coordinator, working with players throughout all levels of the farm system. McDonald served as a Cubs baseball operations assistant in 2014 following his retirement in April after 16 professional seasons. He was selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1997 Draft and played for the Cubs in 2013. 

Doug Jarrow begins his 10th season as Chicago's minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. He previously spent five years in the Dodgers organization, including 2003-05 as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and 2006-07 as the Major League strength coach. Jarrow began his career as a minor league strength and conditioning coach with Tampa Bay in 1998 and Pittsburgh in 1999.

Nick Frangella begins his 14th season with the organization and his fourth as head minor league athletic training coordinator. He spent the previous two seasons as Triple-A Iowa's athletic trainer.

Chuck Baughman enters his 17th year with the Cubs organization, his fourth season as assistant athletic training coordinator. He spent the previous eight seasons as a rehabilitation coordinator and joined the organization as Single-A Boise's athletic trainer in 2001. His career in professional baseball began in 1999 when he was the athletic trainer for Single-A Clinton in Cincinnati's system.

Ron Villone is in his sixth season as a coach in the Cubs organization, and his first as the team's minor league rehab pitching coordinator. He served as pitching coach for Mesa in 2015-16 following stints at Single-A Daytona (2014), Single-A Kane County (2013) and Single-A Peoria (2012). A left-handed pitcher, he played in all or part of 15 major league seasons from 1995-2009, going 61-65 with eight saves and a 4.73 ERA.

Jose Alvarez is the Latin America minor league training coordinator, a new position in the organization. He is in his fourth year in the Cubs organization, having served as a trainer for the Dominican Summer League Team.