Rock Cats Announce 2013 Coaching Staff
New Britain, CT- The New Britain Rock Cats Baseball Club, the Double-A Eastern League Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, has announced its coaching staff for the 2013 season. Jeff Smith will return for his fourth season as manager at New Britain and Stu Cliburn will return for his 12th season as pitching coach of the Rock Cats. Former Rock Cats outfielder Chad Allen (1997-1998) was named the club's new hitting coach. This will be Allen's first season as a coach in the Twins' system.
Smith, 38, will begin his fourth season as field manager of the Rock Cats. Last season, he helped produce five players that spent time at New Britain before getting promoted to the Major Leagues and 13 players have reached Minnesota since he took over for the Rock Cats in 2010. The Rock Cats have been in the Eastern League Pennant race during the past two seasons, going 147-137 over that span. The Naples, Florida native was named the 15th manager in New Britain franchise history on October 21, 2009, becoming the first Rock Cats former player to return to the Hardware City to manage. Smith played for the Rock Cats between 1997 and 2002 and still holds the franchise record for RBI in a single game (7). This will be his 8th season as a manager in the Twins system. Smith played 9 years in the minor leagues in the Twins, Red Sox and Rangers organizations after getting drafted in the 20th round in 1995 out of Stetson University (FL).
Cliburn returns for his 12th season as Rock Cats Pitching Coach and his 5th straight year at New Britain. He served as pitching coach on John Russell and Stan Cliburn's staff between 1999-2005 before coaching in the International League at Triple-A Rochester from 2006-2008. Cliburn has helped develop many of the pitchers for the Minnesota Twins staff as well as Major League All-Stars. Stu pitched for the California Angels from 1984-1988 and was named Angels Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of Southern California after going 9-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 1995.
Allen joins the Rock Cats for his first season as hitting coach after playing for the club in 1997 and 1998. This will also be Allen's first season as a coach in the Twins organization. The Duncanville, Texas native played parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Twins, Indians, Marlins and Rangers between 1999 and 2005. He was a big part of the Rock Cats Northern Division Championship Club in 1998 as New Britain's starting left-fielder.
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