Steverson To Join White Sox’s Big League Staff
For a second consecutive year, the Oakland A’s have lost a minor league coordinator just weeks into the post-season. Last year, it was minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, who left for a position with the New York Yankees. This year, it is minor league hitting coordinator Todd Steverson, who is leaving the organization for a chance to coach at the major league level.
Several sources reported that Steverson was hired to be the Chicago White Sox’s hitting coach for the 2014 season. The club hasn’t officially announced the hiring (Major League Baseball prefers announcements of this type to wait for after the World Series), but we have confirmed the move.
Steverson will be returning to the major leagues as a coach for the first time since the end of the 2010 season. He was a base coach for the A’s under manager Bob Geren in 2009 and 2010. Steverson spent 10 seasons in the A’s organization, filling a number of different roles. In 2004, he served as a hitting coach for the short-season Vancouver Canadians. He impressed the A’s front office and was moved into a managerial role the next season.
In 2005, Steverson was the manager of the High-A Stockton Ports during the Ports’ first season as an Oakland A’s affiliate. He led the Ports for the 2005 and 2006 seasons before moving up to Double-A Midland in 2007. In 2008, he took over as the manager of the Sacramento River Cats after then-manager Tony DeFrancesco was promoted to the A’s major league coaching staff. Steverson won the Pacific Coast League and Triple-A crowns with Sacramento that season. It was Sacramento’s second straight championship season.
After two seasons on Geren’s staff, Steverson was re-assigned to the A’s minor league coaching staff as the hitting coach for the River Cats in 2011. He then moved into the A’s minor league hitting coordinator position at the start of the 2012 season. Steverson took over the role from Greg Sparks, who has served as the River Cats’ hitting coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
In addition to coaching hitting, Steverson has coached the A’s minor league outfielders on defense for several years. He also has coached base-running. He spent seven seasons playing in professional baseball and had 43 at-bats at the major league level with the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres. He coached in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization before joining the A’s coaching staff.
The A’s will announce a replacement for Steverson at a later date.
Weissmann Takes Senior Position With Marlins
The Miami Marlins announced on Friday that they had hired Craig Weissmann as their new Vice President, Player Personnel. Weissmann had served as the A’s special assignment scout for the past two years. He was a scout in the A’s organization since 2006, serving as an area scout from 2006-2007 and a professional scout from 2007-2011.
Weissmann is filling a position left vacant by Dan Jennings, who was promoted to the General Manager position by the Marlins after they fired longtime GM Larry Beinfest.
Weissmann has a long career in scouting, and he previously worked for the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization, where he signed (among others) catcher John Jaso, infielder Elliot Johnson and pitcher Joe Kennedy. With the A’s, Weissmann signed 2006 top pick Trevor Cahill and 2007 top pick James Simmons and he was responsible for bringing Bobby Cramer into the organization. Weissmann had scouted Cramer when he was with the Tampa organization. More recently, Weissmann had been scouting players in international professional leagues, such as the Mexican Summer League.
Weissmann spent 11 seasons pitching in the minor leagues. He served as a scout in the Seattle Mariners organization, during which time he worked with a high school pitcher named Barry Zito to increase his velocity. Weissmann convinced the Mariners to take Zito in the draft out of high school, but the Mariners were unable to sign the left-hander.
Reddick, Cespedes Finalists For Gold Glove Awards
Rawlings announced the finalists for their annual MLB Gold Glove awards on Friday and two members of the Oakland A’s starting outfield are among the finalists. Yoenis Cespedes is a finalist for left field and Josh Reddick is a finalist for right field. Reddick won the award in 2012.
Despite a season that saw him record a dWAR of 1.8, Josh Donaldson was not included in among the three finalists for AL third basemen. Coco Crisp did not commit an error in 2013 and led all centerfielders in chances per nine innings, but he, too, wasn’t included in the final tallies. Crisp actually didn’t qualify for the award this year, as he finished two games short of the minimum number of games at his position played through game 141. The minimum was set by Rawlings. Crisp played in 93 games in centerfield through game 141 in the schedule. He needed 95 games played. Crisp finished the year with 110 games played in center.