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Barons Announce New Field Staff in 2018

January 17, 2018 - Southern League (SL) - Birmingham Barons News Release

BIRMINGHAM, AL. -The Birmingham Barons, in conjunction with the Chicago White Sox, are excited to welcome Julio Viñas back for his fifth season at the helm of the Birmingham Barons.

Cole Armstrong will also return for his second year as the Barons hitting coach, and athletic trainer Tim Rodmaker will begin his fourth season in Birmingham, but the coaching and training outfit sees some new faces with Richard Dotson as pitching coach, and Corey Barton as athletic trainer.

Viñas, 44, made his coaching debut in 2001 with the Gulf Coast Orioles in the Baltimore organization, and has spent 7 seasons (2013-2015 and 2017 in Birmingham) as a skipper. While last season the Barons saw only 53 wins, Viñas helmed a team full of baseball's top prospects and he holds an all-time managerial record of .463, including .465 in four total seasons in Birmingham, including a Southern League Championship in 2013.

A native of Miami, Viñas was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 1991 free-agent draft and enjoyed an 11-year career in the Minor Leagues playing for four different organizations. He spent the 1995 season with the Barons as the team's catcher hitting .269 with six home runs and 61 RBI.

Cole Armstrong, 34, returns to the Barons for his second season as hitting coach. A former catcher for the Barons, Armstrong was drafted by the White Sox in the 12th round of the 2001 draft and spent ten seasons in the minors.

Richard Dotson, 58, will begin his first season with the Barons since 2007 as pitching coach. The right-handed Dotson was drafted in the 1st round (7th overall) of the 1977 draft by the California Angels, but was traded later that year to the White Sox organization. He spent 12 seasons in the Major Leagues and recorded a 4.23 career ERA in 305 games (111-113). In 295 starts, Dotson pitched 55 complete games and 11 shutouts, and he was tabbed as an American League All-Star in the 1984 season, pitching two scoreless innings at Candlestick Park.

Dotson previously served as pitching coach for Birmingham from 2005-2007, when the Barons held a 4.05 team ERA, before moving to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights for eight seasons, and as a Major League pitching coordinator for the White Sox in 2017. Charlotte saw a 4.18 team ERA during his tenure in Triple-A including a league-best 3.15 team ERA in 2012.

Corey Barton enters his first season as athletic trainer in Birmingham. Barton spent two seasons as athletic trainer for the Winston-Salem Dash (Single-A) in 2011 and 2012 before joining the Arizona Rookie League White Sox, after their 11-year hiatus from the league. He has been with the White Sox organization for 14 years and was named the Appalachian League Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2007.

Tim Rodmaker returns for his fourth season in Birmingham as strength and conditioning coach. Rodmaker has been in the White Sox organization since 2006, seeing time in both Single-A Kannapolis and Short-Season Great Falls before joining the Barons field staff in 2015.

The Birmingham Barons are set to open the 2018 season on the road in Chattanooga against the Double-A of the Minnesota Twins on April 5. Their home opener will be April 11 at Regions Field, when we welcome the division-rival Montgomery Biscuits (Rays) for a five-game series.

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Southern League Stories from January 17, 2018

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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