COLUMBUS – The Cleveland Guardians have announced that Bowling Green native Andy Tracy will return for his fourth season with the Columbus Clippers, including the third year as manager.
The Guardians’ player development assignments for their Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. Columbus will see an almost entirely new player development staff from the one that led the Clippers to an 85-64 record in 2022, a mark that was fifth-best in all of Triple-A. However, Tracy is the one mainstay.
“We are pleased that Andy Tracy stays on as our manager as he has had great results with our young players over his three seasons,” Clippers President and General Manager Ken Schnacke said of the new-look staff.
“Much like we get young players to develop for the Guardians; we now also seem to get coaches and staff to train and prepare for a Major League opportunity. And this on-field staff is all home-grown and are very familiar with all of our young talent.”
Tracy was a 16th round pick of the Montreal Expos out of Bowling Green State University in 1996. Tracy played in the Majors with the Expos, Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies, as well as playing in the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks systems.
Before joining the Cleveland organization, he spent seven years coaching for the Phillies, six as a minor league hitting coordinator and one managing the Williamsport Crosscutters (short-season). Tracy served as the Clippers’ hitting coach in 2019 and the alternate site manager in 2020.
Owen Dew takes over as Clippers’ pitching coach. Dew has directed the Akron RubberDucks pitching staff each of the last two seasons and is entering his 7th year in the Guardians organization.
Originally from Tallahassee, Florida, Dew was drafted by Cleveland in 2010 in the 21st round out of Central Florida. He compiled a 3.86 ERA over three minor league seasons.
Longtime member of the Cleveland organization, Junior Betances replaces Jason Esposito as hitting coach for 2023. A native of the Dominican Republic, Betances has served as a player, coach or executive in the Cleveland system for 25 years since being acquired from Milwaukee as a Rule 5 draft pick in 1996.
Betances hit .277 over six minor league seasons with a .729 OPS. He has served as the Akron RubberDucks hitting coach for the past two seasons.
New bench coach Greg DiCenzo moves up from Lake County, where he served as the Captains’ manager for the past two campaigns.
Prior to working in the Guardians organization, DiCenzo was the head coach at Holy Cross from 2008-2019 in his home state of Massachusetts. He led the Crusaders to ten 20-win seasons and the first Patriot League championship in school history in 2017.
Cody Buckel will return as pitching strategist for a second season. He joined the Clippers in 2022. Buckel was drafted by the Rangers in the 2nd round in 2010 out of Simi Valley, California. Buckel fashioned a 3.92 ERA over eight minor league seasons with Texas and the Los Angeles Angels.
The training staff scheduled to maintain the health and wellness of the team in 2023 sees Jeremy Heller returns for his fourth season as the Clippers’ trainer, while Tyler Grisdale will join the staff as the strength and conditioning coach.
The Clippers’ 2023 season begins March 31 in Des Moines, Iowa when the Clippers take on the Iowa Cubs.