In December, the Los Angeles Angels created an opening in the St. Louis Cardinals organization when they hired Phil Wellman to become the new manager of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. The 15-year minor league managerial veteran had been the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Texas League affiliate in Springfield for the last three seasons.
The Cardinals considered the act of naming Wellman’s replacement as a vehicle to offer three other hitting coaches the opportunity to move up. Erik Pappas has been assigned to Springfield, Jobel Jimenez replaces him at Peoria, and up from the Dominican Summer League, Kleininger Teran becomes the Gulf Coast League Cardinals hitting coach, replacing Jimenez.
Pappas, 46, becomes the new hitting coach in Springfield he moves up from Peoria of the Midwest League. 2014 will be his second year in the Cardinals organization. “Pappy” guided the Chiefs offense to a .256 team average last season with just 817 strikeouts, the lowest for any team in the MWL.
The former catcher spent 2006-12 at the Cangelosi Baseball Academy in Orland Park, Ill., while also serving as a scout for the Texas Rangers from 2005-09.
As a player, Pappas competed in parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues, the first with the Cubs in 1991 and his final two under manager Joe Torre for the Cardinals in 1993-94. He was the first-round selection (sixth overall) of the California Angels in the 1984 First-Year Player Draft.
Jimenez, the new Chiefs hitting coach for 2014 season, has been an instructor in the Cardinals organization since 2007. The 35-year-old spent last season as the hitting coach with the rookie level Gulf Coast Cardinals. Under his tutelage, the GCL Cardinals finished seventh in the 16-team league in batting average and fifth in slugging percentage.
Prior to joining the GCL squad, Jimenez was the hitting coach for the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals. He worked in the Boston Red Sox organization from 2001-2006 as a scout, outfield instructor and hitting coach in both Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
The native of Venezuela played in the Los Angeles Dodgers system in 1993-94 before joining the organization as a scout. Jimenez was a Venezuelan Summer League scout and outfield instructor from 1994-1998 and then spent two seasons in the same capacity with the Florida Marlins.
Teran, 24, begins his second season as a hitting coach in the system after working with the Dominican Summer League Cardinals in 2013. For the eight years immediately prior, the Venezuelan native played in the Cardinals system as a third baseman. Teran’s playing plateau was reached at Class-A Quad Cities in 2011 before he sat out the entire 2012 season due to injury.
In other news, Peoria announced that Lance Thomason will be the Chiefs Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2014. Thomason spent the 2013 season in the same capacity with the Johnson City Cardinals and is following manager Joe Kruzel in the move from the Appalachian League to the Midwest League.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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