From the offices of the Hartford Yard Goats
Hartford, Conn- Manager Warren Schaeffer, who saw six of his players with the Hartford Yard Goats earn Eastern League All-Star honors, will return for a second season as manager of the Rockies Class AA affiliate. Also returning in Hartford are hitting coach Lee Srevens, trainer Hoshito Mizutani, and Phil Balley, the physical performance coach. Steve Merriman will join the staff as the pitching coach.
Schaeffer returns for his 13th year in the Rockies organization, including six years as a player after being signed by the Rockies as a 38th round draft choice out of Virginia Tech in 2007. As well as managing Hartford, he was the manager of Low-A Asheville for three seasons (2015-17), and hitting coach at short-season A Tri-City.
"We are ecstatic to have Warren and Lee back in Hartford for another season and welcome Steve to our staff," Yard Goats President Tim Restall said. "Warren and Lee were a pleasure to work with last season and we look forward to having them as part of our wonderful community again in 2019."
Stevens returns to the Yard Goats for his second season after spending the previous season at Rookie Level Grand Junction in the Pioneer League. This will be his seventh season as a coach in the Rockies organization. He was at Grand Junction from 2013 through 2015, and was Hitting Coach for Class-A Modesto in 2016.
The former first round pick of the California Angels in 1986 played eight years in the Major Leagues with the Angels (1990-1992), Texas Rangers (1996-1999), Montreal Expos (2000-2002) and Cleveland Indians (2002). Stevens enjoyed his best season in the majors in 1997 when he hit .300 with 24 doubles, 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 137 games with the Rangers. That season also began a stretch of five consecutive 20-plus home run seasons for the Kansas City, Missouri native. Stevens set career highs with 77 runs scored, 35 doubles, 25 home runs, and 95 RBI in 2001 with the Expos.
Merriman joins the Yard Goats for his first season after spending last season as an assistant pitching coordinator with the Chicago Cubs. He was an associate scout for the Rockies for three years (2002-04). Merriman also served as a pitching coach with Class A Lexington in the Royals' organization in 2014 and has worked with the Mets, Diamondbacks and Major League Scouting Bureau as a Midwest area scout (2009-11). He was with the Mets (2004-06), and was a bullpen catcher with the Tigers (1996-99).