Barnstormers Veterans Join Coaching Staff
Ross Peeples has filled out his coaching staff for the 2020 season with the additions of two long-time team members who are transitioning in their careers.
Outfielder Caleb Gindl and right-handed reliever Cody Eppley, both experienced Major Leaguers, will jump into the roles of hitting and pitching coach, respectively, for Peeples, in his fourth season at the Barnstormers' helm. Lancaster resident Troy Steffy will remain on the staff as the first base coach at home and director of baseball operations.
While Eppley will serve as a full-time pitching coach, Gindl will be in a player-coach capacity.
Gindl, 31, has played for the Barnstormers in three of the last four seasons. The lefty batting outfielder has compiled a .288 average over his time with the Barnstormers, rapping out 84 doubles and 42 home runs in his 356 Atlantic League games. Gindl has knocked home217 runs, an average around 87 per 140- game season while in a Lancaster uniform. In 2019, the western Florida native appeared in every game other than one, either as a position player, on the mound, or both. He had an All-Star level campaign, leading his club with 91 RBI and tying for the team lead with 22 long balls. He added 32 doubles.
After being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, Gindl worked his way steadily to the Major Leagues, finally making his big league debut on June 15, 2013. His biggest highlight came on July 21 of that season when he clubbed a walkoff home run off Miami's Ryan Webb to open the bottom of the 13th inning at Miller Park. He would hit five homers in his 65 career big league games.
He has also played in the Toronto and San Francisco farm systems, having his contract purchased by the Giants in the 2017 season, signing again with them in the off-season and spending the entire 2018 campaign in the San Francisco organization.
"Lancaster is like a second home for me," said Gindl. "I look forward to taking on a new challenge of being a hitting coach and trying to help guys reach their full potential."
Eppley, 34, has been associated with the Atlantic League since initially joining the Barnstormers in 2013 and ranks fourth in all-time Atlantic League saves with 105. After being part of the championship Lancaster club in 2014, the right-hander was traded to Southern Maryland during the 2015 campaign. Eppley remained with the Blue Crabs until being traded back to the Barnstormers prior to the 2019 season. He served as a player-coach for the Blue Crabs in his final year there.
The Harrisburg native was drafted by the Texas Rangers out of Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. He advanced to the Major Leagues with the Rangers, making his debut on April 23, 2011. Prior to the 2012 season, the right-hander was selected off waivers by the New York Yankees. Eppley appeared in 59 big league games that year, posting a 3.33 ERA, then entered four games in the American League Championship Series against Detroit.
He opened the 2013 season with the Yankees before going to Class AAA Rochester in the Minnesota system and later joining the 'Stormers.
"I am excited and honored to start this new role with the organization," said Eppley. "I am thankful to continue wearing a uniform while I start this new adventure in my career. I am looking forward to working with Ross, Troy and the staff and helping the team succeed."
"It is great to have these two guys taking the next step in their careers," said Peeples. "Cody is a guy who is very professional at what he does. He will bring a lot of talent to the coaching side and will help our pitchers a lot this year.
"Caleb is going to be a player coach for us," Peeples added. "He is a guy who has always related to his teammates very well.
"I believe both of these men have a great future in coaching."
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