Out With The Old, In With The New

Updated: August 31, 2016

2-23-24: Reno, NV – The Reno Zephyrs have been one of the busiest teams during the off season.  They have made a slew of acquisitions via trades, drafts, minor league promotions and free agent signings.  And now, they have replaced their manager, hitting coach and pitching coach all on the same day.

“We are looking to shake things up this season,” General Manager Scott Maynor said at the press conference announcing the hiring of a new team.  “We are bringing in a lot of new faces on the field and we felt it would best serve everyone if we hired an entirely new coaching staff right out of the gate.”

Juan Solarzano was fired as the Zephyrs manager and will be replaced by Eugene Brown formerly of the Taito Invaders.  Solarzano was with the Zephyrs organization for eight seasons, working his way up through the ranks from SS-A.  It would not be entirely fair to lay all the blame at his feet for the Zephyrs failures.  But, it is also hard to argue with the front office philosophy of bringing in some new blood to go along with the influx of new players on the field.  The new skipper is rumored to be good with young players and the 2024 Zephyrs team will have seven player aged 25 or younger.

Pitching coach Juan Jose Vevarez also received his walking papers today.  He is being replaced by former International College Coach Tony Barret.  Barret is known as a coach who prefers his pitchers keep the ball down in the zone and inducing a lot of ground ball outs.  With the flashy leather that the Zephyrs will be displaying on the infield this season, it appears like a perfect fit.

And lastly, hitting coach Paul Woods will be replaced by former college coach Ken Brown.  Brown has a reputation as a kind of handyman who can fix just about any problem that can arise with a hitter’s swing.  Reno had more than a few hitters go ice cold with the bat last season and it will be interesting to see what he can do with the youngsters as well as the veterans.

The manager as you can imagine is a volatile position that is typically under more scrutiny than most other positions.  They rarely get enough credit when things are going well and they always seem to take more than their share of the blame when things go poorly.  A new manager is not necessarily the solution to all a team’s problems and multiple hires and fires can certainly be detrimental to a team.  Still, it is hard to argue with the changes made by the Reno front office.  If they manage to avoid another 100-plus loss season, then the firing/hiring should be considered a success. zephyrs-featured