CHARLESTON, S.C. (CHSR) – The New York Yankees have announced that Al Pedrique, who served as interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004 and was most recently the bench coach for the Houston Astros, will guide the Charleston RiverDogs in 2013.
Pedrique also played three seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers.
"Al Pedrique is a highly respected professional who has wide and varied experiences in the game," said Mark Newman, the Yankees' senior vice president for baseball operations. "He will provide great leadership for our young prospects in Charleston."
Pedrique replaces Carlos Mendoza, who has been named a roving defensive coach for the Yankees' minor league teams. Pedrique will be the fifth RiverDogs manager in as many years and follows Mendoza (2012) Aaron Ledesma (2011), Greg Colbrunn (2010) and Torre Tyson (2009).
Born on August 11, 1960, Pedrique was a right-handed hitting shortstop who played for the Mets (1987), Pirates (1987-88) and Tigers (1989). He was signed by the Mets in 1978 and made his debut nine years later. He was a career .247 hitter with one home run, 36 RBI, 32 runs 18 doubles and one triple with five stolen bases in 174 games.
After retiring, Pedrique managed in the minors for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, and Kansas City Royals organizations from 2000-02. He returned to the majors in 2003 as the third base coach for the Diamondbacks. In 2004, he began the season as manager of the Tucson Sidewinders, the Diamondbacks Triple A affiliate, but he was hired as manager of the Diamondbacks on an interim basis when Bob Brenly was fired in July. Pedrique compiled a 22–61 record, and was replaced by Wally Backman and then Bob Melvin at the end of the season.
Pedrique created some controversy as manager when he ordered the Diamondbacks pitching staff to intentionally walk Barry Bonds throughout an entire three-game series against the San Francisco Giants from September 10–12, since Bonds was on the verge of hitting his 700th career home run, which Pedrique did not want to happen in Arizona.
He was hired as the Astros bench coach on October 31, 2009, after previously serving as minor league field coordinator and third base coach for the Astros.
The Yankees also announced that pitching coach Danny Borrell will return to the staff. The organization's former rehab pitching coordinator in Tampa spent last season with the RiverDogs and the season prior as the pitching coach for the Staten Island Yankees. He is a native of Sanford, NC and was a second-team All-America southpaw from Wake Forest University. Borrell was the second round pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft and pitched for Staten Island. He also pitched in the Oakland A's organization, reaching their AAA affiliate in 2008.
"We are fortunate to have Danny return as the pitching coach as he did an exceptional job with a young staff in 2012," said Newman. "He has a great future in the game."
Also joining the staff will be hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, who replaces local resident Greg Colbrunn, who recently accepted the hitting coach's position with the Boston Red Sox. Pilittere spent eight seasons in the Yankees' minor league system as a catcher, having reached the AAA level with Scranton/Wilkes Barre from 2009-11. He is a native of San Dimas, Cal., where he was drafted by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Cal State-Fullerton.
Former Florida Gator Justin Tordi, a native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will serve as the first base coach. Tordi was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 46th round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, Fla., and by the Cincinnati Reds in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Florida. He earned second–team all-SEC honors as an infielder.
Additionally, Mike Becker, who was with the Staten Island Yankees last year, will serve as the trainer while Joe Giangrasso, who was also at Staten Island last season, is the new strength and conditioning coach. JR Bassett returns as the clubhouse manager.
The RiverDogs open the 2013 season on Thursday, April 11, when the Augusta GreenJackets invade Riley Park. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.