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 Portland Sea Dogs

Epperson Back at the Helm; Sea Dogs Announce 2024 Coaching Staff

February 1, 2024 - Eastern League (EL)
Portland Sea Dogs News Release


Portland, Maine - The Boston Red Sox announced today the Portland Sea Dogs coaching staff for the 2024 season, led by Manager Chad Epperson. He returns for his third season in Portland and has led the Sea Dogs to a 148-126 record in his first two years with the team. Sean Isaac (Pitching Coach), Justin Frometa (Development Coach), Mickey Jiang (Coach) and Bobby Stachura (Athletic Trainer) all return to the staff. Chris Hess (Hitting Coach), Kyle Sasala (Coach), and Donny Gress (Strength and Conditioning Coach) join the Sea Dogs' coaching staff.

Epperson returns for his third season as Portland's manager. In 2023, he led the Sea Dogs to an overall record of 73-63 (.537). In 2022, Epperson led the Sea Dogs to a Double-A best 45-24 (.652) record in the second half, securing Portland's first post-season berth since 2014. Before managing the Sea Dogs, Epperson spent 12 seasons as the Red Sox Catching Coordinator. Prior to that, he spent his first eight seasons with the Red Sox as a manager or coach at the minor league level. A manager from 2004-09, he led his club to the playoffs in four straight campaigns beginning in 2006, including Single-A Salem in 2009. A back-to-back California League Manager of the Year with Lancaster from 2007-08, he also managed Wilmington to the playoffs in 2006. The Kentucky native managed Capital City in 2005 and Augusta in 2004 after spending two seasons (2002-03) as Sarasota's hitting coach. He also managed Cook County of the independent Frontier League in 2001. Epperson played nine years in the minor leagues in the Mets (1992-95), Red Sox (1997-99), and Orioles (2000) systems prior to his coaching career.

Isaac enters his second season as a coach in the Red Sox organization. He led the Sea Dogs to a 4.10 ERA and 30 saves in 2023. His pitching staff finished the year with 1,308 strikeouts, fifth most in the Eastern League. In 2022 he was the assistant pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Previously Isaac served as the Director of Player Development at UC-Santa Barbara. He spent three seasons (2016-2018) as a minor league pitcher in the Angels organization reaching the Triple-A level in 2017 and 2018. In 78 career games, he notched a 9-4 record with a 4.34 ERA. On May 2, 2018, he pitched the final inning of a combined no-hitter for Inland Empire.

Chris Hess returns to Portland after serving as the Greenville Drive's hitting coach in 2023. He was a coach for the Sea Dogs in 2022 and in Fort Myers during the 2021 season. During his time with the Drive, they ranked first in batting average (.259), hits (1,133), doubles (249), second in triples (36) and third in RBI (618) in the South Atlantic League. The Drive were also crowned South Atlantic League champions for the 2023 season. This year will mark Hess' fourth year in the Red Sox organization. Previously, he was an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island, his alma mater, after three seasons playing in the New York Yankees organization (2017-19). Hess replaces former Hitting Coach Doug Clark who was promoted to be the Hitting Coach for the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox.

Justin Frometa begins his second season as the Sea Dogs Development Coach and fourth in the Red Sox organization. He previously served as a Baseball Operations Associate and Player Development Associate for the Red Sox. He is a 2020 graduate of Tufts University.

The 2024 season will be Jiang's 18th with the Red Sox where he has held several different roles, including work as a consultant with International Scouting (2007-2012). He has been coaching in the Red Sox minor league system since 2009. He previously served as a coach in Portland from 2016-2017 and 2023. He served as a coach with Single-A Greenville in 2022 and with Fort Myers in 2012 and 2018-2021. A native of Taiwan, Jiang received his B.A. in International Trade from Tung-Hai University.

Kyle Sasala joins Portland's staff after previously working as the Associate Head Coach at Grove City College from 2016 - 2023. Sasala helped the 2023 Wolverines to a school-record 30 victories, along with a 16-4 conference record. The Wolverines also won 28 games in both 2021 and 2022. In 2019, Sasala assisted head coach Matt Royer in leading the Wolverines to a then-program record 28 victories. He served as the team's interim head coach during the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament, guiding Grove City to a runner-up finish. Portland's former coach in 2023, Pablo Cabrera, was promoted to Complex Defensive Coach based out of Fort Myers with the Red Sox.

Stachura returns to Portland for his second season as the Sea Dogs' Athletic Trainer. Stachura has served as the Athletic Trainer for Single-A Greenville for the past four seasons. He started in the Red Sox organization in 2017 as the Athletic Trainer for the Lowell Spinners. He also spent four years as an athletic trainer at the University of Rhode Island. Stachura graduated with a B.S. in Athletic Training from Lasell College in 2013. He received his M.S. from the University of Rhode Island's Department of Kinesiology in 2015.

Donny Gress joins the Sea Dogs for the first time after spending the last two seasons with the Greenville Drive. Previously, Gress spent four years at the University of Kentucky, first as a graduate assistant (2018-2020), before becoming a coaching assistant with the Wildcats' Olympic Strength and Conditioning staff. Joe Hudson has been promoted to be Worcester's Strength and Conditioning Coach after previously working with Portland in the same role in 2023.


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