Terry Francona’s Indians are starting to take shape. In his first big order of business as Tribe skipper, Francona has assembled his coaching staff for the 2013 season. Via their Twitter feed, the Indians announced the who’s who.
Sandy Alomar Jr., who was the runner-up to Francona for the managerial position, will stay on as Tito’s bench coach. This is the same roll he had on Manny Acta’s staff last season. Joining Sandy will be now-former Columbus Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh, who will be the team’s first base coach. The Indians have elevated Minor League pitching coordinator Mickey Callaway to the big club’s pitching coach.
Callaway, Alomar Jr. and Sarbaugh know the ins and outs of the majority of the young Indians, so having these three on board will be a nice aid for the transition from Acta to Francona.
The rest of the staff includes former Houston Astros manager Brad Mills, who spent three seasons in Philly with Francona as his first base coach, and six seasons with him in Boston as his bench coach. Mills will take over as the third base coach. Ty Van Burkleo is your new hitting coach. He comes over from the Houston organization where he was their minor league hitting coordinator since 2010 before becoming their interim hitting coach mid-way through last season. He spent two seasons as the hitting coach in Oakland before a one year stint as Don Wakamatsu’s bench coach in Seattle. Kevin Cash, a former catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays who retired before last season, is the new bullpen coach and rounds out the staff.