ValleyCats announce 2018 coaching staff
TROY — The Tri-City ValleyCats will be under two new coaches and one returner next year, as the team announced Jason Bell as the ninth manager in team history. The team also has a new pitching coach in Erick Abreu, and Jeremy Barnes will return for a second season as the hitting coach in Troy.
Bell will come into the season as his first as a manager at any level, and his second season in the Astros’ organization. He spent the 2017 season as a development coach with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits in Iowa. In 2016, he served as the pitching coach at Division I Maryland Eastern Shore.
Before that, the St. Louis native was the director of baseball operations at Ohio University and played collegiality at Saint Louis University from 2010-11 and then the University of Central Missouri from 2012-14.
Abreu served as the pitching coach at rookie-level Greenville last year. This is his fifth season in the Astros organization after a 10-year playing career in the Yankees and Astros organizations from 2003-2012, getting as high as AAA during his playing days.
Barnes is the lone returner to the staff, and 2018 will be his second season in Troy.
As for 2017 manager Morgan Ensberg, he was promoted to Class A-advanced Buies Creek in North Carolina.
The ValleyCats kick off their 2018 season on Friday, June 15 as they take on the Vermont Lake Monsters.