Montoyo will continue as Bulls manager
The Durham Bulls will have a renovated ballpark and a revamped roster in 2014, but the coaching staff is one thing that will stay the same.
The Bulls announced Monday that Charlie Montoyo, the reigning International League Manager of the Year, will return for his eighth season in Durham. Pitching coach Neil Allen and hitting coach Dave Myers will also be back when the Bulls take the field on April 3 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is undergoing a $9 million renovation.
“I’m excited – new ballpark, new players, new challenges,” Montoyo said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Montoyo has won six division titles in his previous seven years with the Bulls, including the 2009 Triple-A National Title. Durham had the best record in professional baseball for much of last season before winning the IL title.
The Puerto Rican native, who is 558-446 with the Bulls, is 56 wins shy of eclipsing IL Hall of Famer Bill Evers for most wins by a Durham Bulls skipper.
Still, Montoyo said he did not get any offers from Major Leagues teams during the offseason.
“I was thinking I was coming back because you don’t have any control over any of the other stuff,” Montoyo said. “I just do my job as best I can and help the kids go to the next level. That’s the only thing I have control over and that’s what I’m worried about right now – making sure they have success at the next level.”
Allen, an 11-year Major League veteran, is returning for his fourth season with the Bulls after guiding pitchers including Matt Moore, Alex Cobb and Chris Archer to Tampa Bay. Myers will be beginning his sixth season in Durham after spending 26 seasons in the Mariners system, including four years at the Major League level.
Athletic trainer Mike Sandoval will also rejoin the Bulls for a third season, while strength and conditioning coach Bryan King is making his debut in Durham after spending the last five seasons as the Major League strength and conditioning coach for the Blue Jays.
As expected at the Triple-A level, the coaching staff will have a completely different roster to work with this season.
IL Pitcher of the Year J.D. Martin, who won a Bulls Triple-A era single-season record 16 games in 2013, left as a free agent, while at least six regular position players from the 2013 title run also won’t be returning.
Utility player Shelley Duncan (Diamondbacks), outfielders Jason Bourgeois (Reds), infielder Mike Fontenot (Nationals) and catchers Chris Gimenez (Athletics) and Craig Albernaz (Tigers) signed with other clubs. Former IL All-Star Leslie Anderson will play in Japan and shortstop Tim Beckham tore his ACL in December and will miss most of next season.
“All the years making it to the playoffs and now two championships, I don’t take that for granted,” Montoyo said. “It’s not that easy, especially at that level with all the movement.”