(Greensboro, NC) The Florida Marlins announced today that the 2008 Greensboro Grasshoppers will be led by Edwin Rodriguez. The announcement was made by Marlins Vice President of Player Development and Scouting and Assistant General Manager Jim Fleming.
Joining Rodriguez will be pitching coach John Duffy, hitting coach Jorge Hernandez and athletic trainer James Stone.
This marks Rodriguezâ€™s second season at the helm of the Grasshoppers, after a successful 71-69 campaign with the team last year. He previously spent two seasons as manager of the Marlinsâ€™ Gulf Coast League affiliate from 2005-06 and served as hitting coach for Double-A Carolina in 2004. Prior to joining the Marlins organization, he was manager of the Princeton Devil Rays of the short-season Appalachian League from 2000-02, and was skipper for the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League in 1999.
Under Duffyâ€™s direction, the Hoppers pitching staff ended the year with a 4.28 earned run average and a league-leading five complete games. A 1983 graduate of the University of South Alabama, Duffy signed with the Detroit Tigers that same year and worked his way through the system as a left-handed pitcher. In 1990, he turned his career to coaching, spending time with the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Devil Rays organizations before joining the Marlins in 2004.
Newcomer Jorge Hernandez spent last season as the hitting coach for the Marlinsâ€™ Gulf Coast affiliate. A 1986 draft pick of the Houston Astros, Hernandez was an all-conference shortstop at Troy State University and was a member of the 1987 NCAA Division II national championship team. He will replace Anthony Iapoce, who was promoted as hitting coach of the Jupiter Hammerheads.
Stone, a graduate of Cal State University, enters his third season with the Marlins organization and his second as the athletic trainer for the Grasshoppers. Prior to joining the Marlins, the Southern California native worked in the Baltimore Orioles organization and interned with the Seattle Mariners.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers are the Single-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins and have welcomed over 1,250,000 fans in their first three seasons, becoming the only Class A team in the history of Minor League Baseball to draw over 400,000 fans and grow its attendance for three straight years in a new ballpark. They are the proud recipients of both the South Atlantic League’s Club Merit Award and the General Manager of the Year Award for the past three years.
Season tickets and advertising packages are now on sale for the 2008 season. For more information, please contact the Grasshoppers office at 336.268.BALL or visit www.gsohoppers.com