Weiss, Rockies finalize field staff for 2013 Rockies

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DENVER –The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has finalized the Major League field staff for the 2013 season.

Colorado’s field staff for 2013: Walt Weiss - Manager; Tom Runnells - Bench Coach; Dante Bichette - Hitting Coach; Jim Wright - Pitching Coach; Rene Lachemann - First Base Coach; Stu Cole - Third Base Coach; Bo McLaughlin - Assistant Pitching Coach; Jerry Weinstein - Catching Instructor/Defensive Positioning.

Weiss, 48, returns to the Rockies where he spent seven seasons from 2002-2008 as a Special Assistant to the General Manager. The former shortstop played parts of 14 seasons in the Major Leagues with Oakland (1987-1992), Florida (1993), Colorado (1994-97) and Atlanta (1998-2000). In his 14 seasons Weis compiled a batting average of .258 (1207-for-4686) with 182 doubles, 31 triples, 25 home runs, 386 RBI, 96 stolen bases, 658 walks and 658 strikeouts in 1,495 games. Weiss joins the Rockies after spending two seasons as the head coach of the Regis Jesuit High School baseball team. Weiss is the sixth manager in Rockies franchise history, joining Don Baylor (1993-1998), Jim Leyland (1999), Buddy Bell (2000-2002), Clint Hurdle (2002-09) and Jim Tracy (2009-12).

Runnells, 57, returns for his fifth season as the Rockies Bench Coach, and fourth full season. He was originally promoted to the position in May, 2009 following the promotion of then Bench Coach Jim Tracy to Manager. 2013 will be Runnells 10th-straight season as a member of the Rockies organization, as he originally joined Colorado as the Double-A Tulsa Manager in 2004. He managed in the Rockies organization for six seasons (2004-05 at Tulsa, 2006-09 at Colorado Springs). Runnells is one of two members of the Rockies coaching staff, along with Rene Lachemann, with previous Major League managerial experience, as he was the Skipper for Montreal for parts of two seasons from 1991-92 (68-81, .456). The Greeley, CO native has been in professional baseball as a player or coach for over 36 years. He was originally signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1977 and made his Major League debut with Cincinnati in 1985.

Bichette, 48, also returns to the Rockies organization, where he was a four-time All-Star (1994-96, 1998) and the runner-up for the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award. Bichette played seven of his 14 Major League seasons with the Rockies (1993-99) and was a member of the Rockies Inaugural roster in 1993. The West Palm Beach, Florida native batted .299 (1906-for-6381) with 401 doubles, 27 triples, 274 home runs, 1,141 RBI and 152 stolen bases in 1,704 career Major League games with California (1988-1990), Milwaukee (1991-92), Colorado, Cincinnati (2000) and Boston (2000-01). Bichette retired from baseball following the 2001 season. This will be Bichette’s first career Major League coaching position.

Wright, 57, will be a member of the Rockies Major League field staff for the fifth-straight season, after serving as the Rockies bullpen coach from 2009-12. 2013 marks Wright’s return to the Rockies Pitching Coach role, as he was previously the club’s Major League Pitching Coach in 2002. 2013 also marks Wright’s 17th-straight season as a pitching coach in the Rockies organization, as he began with the organization in 1997 as the Double-A New Haven Pitching Coach. Wright has also served as the Triple-A Pitching Coach (1999-2001) and as the organization’s Roving Pitching Coordinator (2003-08). The native of St. Joseph, MO, Wright pitched in the Major League’s for two seasons with Kansas City in 1981-82.

Lachemann, 67, returns to the Major Leagues as a coach for the first time since 2007 when he served as the Oakland A’s Third Base Coach. Lachemann has spent the last five seasons as the Hitting Coach at Triple-A Colorado Springs. A former Major League Manager with Seattle (1981-83), Milwaukee (1984) and Florida (1993-96), Lachemann’s career in professional baseball spans over 47 years. The Los Angeles, Calif. native has been on coaching staffs on teams that have reached the postseason six times (1986 with Boston; 1988-90, 1992 and 2006 with Oakland). A catcher that was originally signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1964, Lachemann made his Major League debut in 1965 with the A’s. Lachemann’s brothers, Marcel and Bill, also have Major League coaching experience.

Cole, 46, will be a member of the Colorado Rockies organization for the 18th-consecutive season in 2013, his first on the Major League field staff. Cole has spent the last 12 seasons as a manager in the Rockies organization working his way from Short-Season-A Tri-City in 2001 to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Manager from 2009-12. In his 12 seasons as a Minor League Manager, Cole owned a 794-830 (.489) record and led his team to postseason play four times. A former infielder who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the 1987 June Draft, Cole played nine seasons of professional baseball (1987-1995) including nine games in the Majors with Kansas City in 1991. Cole finished his playing career by playing for Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies organization for three seasons (1993-95). This will be Cole’s first career Major League coaching position.

McLaughlin, 59, will return to the Major League staff for the second-straight season. In this role, McLaughlin’s gameday duties will include working with pitching staff and managing the bullpen during games. McLaughlin was promoted from Triple-A Pitching Coach to the Major League staff in June of last season. 2013 will be McLaughlin’s 11th season as a member of the Rockies organization, as he spent six season’s as the Rockies Double-A Pitching Coach from 2003-2008 and three seasons as the organization’s Roving Pitching Coordinator from 2009-2011. McLaughlin has been a professional pitching coach for over 20 years. McLaughlin was originally drafted by Houston in the first round of the 1975 June Draft. He played in six Major League season with Houston (1976-79), Atlanta (1979) and Oakland (1981-82).

Weinstein, 69, returns to the Rockies Major League field staff for his second season after serving as the team’s Catching Coach in 2012. 2013 marks Weinstein’s seventh season in the Rockies organization, as he served as the Manager at High-A Modesto from 2007-11. Weinstein has over 42 years of coaching experience and prior to joining the Rockies he served as the Pitching Coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo from 2001-05. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Weinstein was the Los Angeles Dodgers Director of Player Development in 2000-01 and their Roving Catching Coordinator in 1999. The Majority of Weinstein’s coaching career was spent as the Head Coach at Sacramento City College for 23 seasons, where he collected a 831-208-12 record while guiding the Panthers to 18 conference championships, a state title in 1988 and a national title in 1998. Weinstein is a member of both the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame and the Sacramento City College Sports Hall of Fame.