HARTFORD, January 3 – Yard Goats skipper Warren Schaeffer will return as manager of the Hartford Yard Goats in 2019.
The Colorado Rockies, the parent club of the Double A Eastern League affiliate, assigned Schaeffer to Hartford for this season. Schaeffer is the first manager in the Yard Goats’ brief five-year history to return for consecutive seasons.
Schaeffer’s coaching staff will include has three men returning for a second year — hitting coach and former MLB player Lee Stevens, head athletic trainer Hoshito Mizutani and physical performance coach Phil Bailey. Newcomer Steve Merriman joins the squad as the pitching coach.
Last season under Schaeffer, six Yard Goats players were named to the Eastern League All-Star team (SS Brandon Rodgers, P Matt Pierpont, P Mitch Horacek, OF Yonathan Daza, OF, Sam Hilliard and P Peter Lambert) two players (USA’s Rodgers and Venezuela’s Jesus Tinoco) were selected to the Major League Futures Game.
Schaeffer and Stevens helped develop infielder Garrett Hampson, who began the season with the Yard Goats, and finished the season on the Colorado Rockies playoff roster. The Yard Goats went 65-72 and finished in third place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.
Schaeffer came to Hartford last year after managing the Class-A Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League in the previous three seasons, 2015-2017. This will be his fourth season as a manager in the Rockies system and his sixth as a professional coach.
Schaeffer, 33, managed the Low-A Asheville Tourists from 2015-2017. In 2016, the Tourists went 40-29 in the second half and reached the South Atlantic League Championship Series.
The former infielder was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 38th round of the 2007 MLB draft from Virginia Tech University. The Vandergrift, Pennsylvania native played for six seasons (461 games) in the Rockies minor league system and reached Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2011.