There has been a shakeup amidst the Milwaukee Brewers minor league coaching staff as spots are filled and promotions are made.
Upon the additions of Triple-A pitching coach Jim Henderson and High-A manager Matt Erickson to the big league coaching staff, and the departure of minor league hitting coordinator Sara Goodrum, we knew of at least three coaching jobs that were open.
It was announced today the Brewers have filled them and then some.
The Milwaukee Brewers have filled out their minor league coaching staffs for the 2022 season.
But there’s also the addition of Spencer Allen, who will serve as the Crew’s Assistant Field Coordinator/Outfield and Baserunning Instructor. That’s a mouthful of a title, but Allen brings a lot to the table. Most recently, Allen was the head coach at Northwestern University in the Big Ten.
Also among the roving staff, Brenton Del Chiaro takes over for Sara Goodrum as the Brewers minor league hitting coordinator, moving up from the assistant role he held last year. Eric Theisen, who was the hitting coach in Low-A Carolina in 2021, gets promoted to assistant hitting coordinator. Theisen is seen as a rising star within the coaching ranks and earns a promotion in recognition of that.
In Triple-A, Jeremy Accardo is the new pitching coach for the Sounds, taking over for Jim Henderson. Accardo spent eight seasons in a big league bullpen, with the majority of that time coming with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 40 year old Accardo last played in the big leagues in 2012. In 2007, he served as the closer for Toronto, racking up 30 saves and a 2.14 ERA in 67.1 IP.
Accardo joins Rick Sweet‘s staff in Nashville, as does Sean Isaac, who is a development coach on that staff as well. Isaac’s specialty is pitching development, and was most recently the Director of Player Development at UC-Santa Barbara.
The Double-A coaching staff remains unchanged but they have added a new strength and conditioning specialist.
In High-A Wisconsin, there’s a new sheriff in town with Joe Ayrault taking over as manager of the Timber Rattlers in the wake of Matt Erickson’s promotion to the big league staff. Ayrault had been the manager for the Carolina Mudcats for the last few seasons and gets a promotion back to High-A, since Carolina was at the High-A level prior to MLB’s reorganization of the minor leagues in 2020. Will Schierholz will join him as the pitching coach, another new hire to the organization. He was most recently a pitching coach for the Saint Louis University Billikens.
Because Ayrault is moving up, that also means there’s a new manager in Low-A Carolina, and that’s Victor Estevez. Estevez has been the manager for one of the Brewers DSL squads in the Dominican Republic the last few years and gets the promotion stateside after doing a remarkable job with those young prospects.
Estevez will be joined by two new faces to the organization with Drew Thomas as the pitching coach and Ken Joyce as the hitting coach for the Mudcats. Thomas was most recently the pitching coach for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Joyce has been coaching a long time and was most recently the hitting coach for the West Virginia Power, a former Brewers affiliate by the way, now of the Atlantic League.
Hiram Burgos drops down from coaching in High-A to being a pitching coach at Rookie level Arizona.
In the DSL, Juan Sandoval and Austin Turner will join the coaching staff of DSL Brewers 1. Sandoval will serve as the pitching coach and was a former Brewers farmhand back in the 2000s. Milwaukee selected Sandoval in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft in 2007, he stuck around for a few years and was released prior to the 2010 season. Turner most recently was the hitting coach for the Wilmington Sharks, a collegiate summer ball team and an assistant coach at John A. Logan College.
The Brewers are adding some fresh blood and some fresh ideas to the organizations with their coaching hires and promoting several deserving candidates from within. They’ve pulled a lot from the college ranks, which is the natural progression.
Even with the major leagues in a lockout at the moment, the minor league season is going to go on as planned no matter what.
As much credit as a player deserves for their success, it’s incredibly important to have quality coaches and development staff working with them in the minor leagues. Even the most talented players in the wrong hands can see their careers ruined. It’s vital to invest in minor league coaches and bring in the right ones to help develop your players. The Brewers have assembled a strong group here, and we’re just about ready for the 2022 season.
Minor league opening day is April 8th.