BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When it comes to Minor League baseball, turnover is the name of the game.
The Shuckers’ roster will certainly turn over from their 81-win, South Division Championship campaign in 2018 as individual players build off their success and climb up the ranks, but Biloxi is experiencing turnover on the coaching staff as well.
As Mike Guerrero enters his fourth season as manager of the Biloxi Shuckers, his staff will feature three new faces for the 2019 season, pitching coach Bob Milacki, hitting coach Danny Santin and athletic trainer Jeff Bodehnamer. The entire staff is attending Brewers Spring Training in Phoenix, giving them a chance to build a working dynamic together before the Shuckers begin play in April.
“With work, you earn trust. I think they have enough time in Spring Training to earn that trust," Guerrero told reporters at MGM Park before departing for Arizona. “Once we’re out here, they’re gonna be fine. They’ve been doing this job for a while.”
Guerrero has some familiarity with his new assistants, namely Bob Milacki. The 54-year-old served as the pitching coach for the High-A Carolina Mudcats in 2018. A second-round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 1983, he pitched in the Major Leagues for eight seasons.
“Last year, we sat down in Spring Training the whole time,” the reigning Southern League Manager of the Year said of Milacki. “He’s been in the organization, so he probably knows some of the players that we’re going to get from Carolina.”
Bodenhamer will also likely have familiarity with those players, joining the Shuckers after working as the athletic trainer for Carolina for each of the last two seasons. He previously spent 11 seasons in the Texas Rangers organization, being recognized as the 2010 South Atlantic League Athletic Trainer of the Year for his work with the Hickory Crawdads.
Danny Santin joins the Shuckers and Brewers organization for the first time, previously spending five years with the Miami Marlins.
“He’s new to the organization, so he has a lot to catch up (on),” Guerrero said. “The good thing is we’re there to help him out.”
Bench coach Chuckie Caufield and conditioning coach Nate Dine return for their third and fifth seasons with the Shuckers, respectively. Dine remains the longest tenured member of the Biloxi Shuckers.
Even though this coaching staff may not have shared much time in the dugout together before, Guerrero is confident their time in Phoenix will prepare the group for the season ahead.
“We’ll have approximately two months together. I believe that’s going to be enough to know each other,” Guerrero said. “The main thing to understand is we’re here for the players, and we’re trying to help these guys get to the big leagues and play the game the right way.”
The Shuckers begin the 2019 campaign on Thursday, April 4 when they host the Birmingham Barons at MGM Park. First pitch set for 6:35 p.m.