Rays name Minor League coaching staffs for 2017

The Tampa Bay Rays have named the minor league on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2017 season.

Steve Henderson, 64, has joined the Rays organization as a minor league hitting coordinator. Henderson replaces Chad Mottola, who spent the last three seasons in the same capacity prior to his promotion to major league hitting coach this past September. Henderson previously served as the Rays major league hitting coach in 1998 and from 2006-09. Next season will mark his 13th season overall with the Rays organization and the ninth of those as a minor league hitting coordinator. He spent the last seven seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization as an outfield/baserunning coordinator (2010), hitting coordinator (2011-12) and major league hitting coach (2013-16). Henderson's playing career spanned a dozen seasons with the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros.

Also joining the organization are Patrick Trainor (minor league strength and conditioning coordinator), Gary Redus (coach, Double-A Montgomery), Aaron Scott (athletic trainer, Class-A Charlotte), Sean Smedley (coach, Rookie-level Princeton) and Jim Paduch (pitching coach, GCL Rays).

Trainor, 33, returns to the Rays organization having previously worked as a conditioning coach with Montgomery (2009) and Durham (2010-12). In 2011, he was named the International League's Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. He has spent the last two seasons as a strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

Redus, 60, was the head baseball coach at his high school alma mater, Tanner (Ala.), in 2016. He spent 13 seasons in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds, Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers. Following his playing career, he coached for six years at Calhoun Community College in Tanner, then was an outfield instructor for the Pirates and Astros. As a minor leaguer with the Pioneer League's Billings Mustangs in 1978, he hit .462 (117-for-253) over 68 games-a record that still stands across all levels of professional baseball.

Scott, 37, has prior experience with the Phillies (2015-16) and Baltimore Orioles (2004-14) organizations. He was named the 2009 South Atlantic League Trainer of the Year while working for the Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles). He was an athletic trainer in college at the University of Northern Iowa, then completed two internships with the NFL's Detroit Lions and was the assistant athletic trainer for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe prior to joining the Orioles.

Smedley, 26, was signed by the Rays as a non-drafted free agent following the 2013 June Draft. He played parts of three minor league seasons in the Rays organization, with the GCL Rays in 2013 and Class-A Bowling Green from 2014-15.

Paduch, 34, was a non-roster invite by the Rays to major league spring training in 2013. He spent parts of three seasons (2011-13) in the Rays organization, appearing in 59 games (41 starts) between Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He was a 12th-round selection of the Reds in the 2003 June Draft and spent four seasons in independent leagues prior to signing with the Rays in 2011.

Other changes to the minor league on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2017 season:

Name, Position, 2017 Club, 2016 Club
Craig Albernaz, Coach, Durham (AAA), Hudson Valley (Short-A)
Scott Thurston, Athletic Trainer, Montgomery (AA), Charlotte (A)
Manny Castillo, Coach, Charlotte (A), Bowling Green (A)
German Melendez, Coach, Charlotte (A), DSL Rays 2 (Rookie)
Joe Szekely, Coach, Bowling Green (A), Charlotte (A)
Hector Torres, Coach, Bowling Green (A), GCL Rays (Rookie)
Alejandro Freire, Coach, Hudson Valley (Short-A), DSL Rays 2 (Rookie)
Kris Russell, Athletic Trainer, Princeton (Rookie), Montgomery (AA)