Former Major League Pitcher Chuck Smith Named JetHawks Pitching Coach
(LANCASTER, CA) - The Lancaster JetHawks, Class A affiliate of the World Champion Boston Red Sox, announced today that former Major League starter Chuck Smith has been named Pitching Coach for the club. The Cleveland native joins 2007 California League Manager of the Year Chad Epperson and Hitting Coach Carlos Febles, both of whom were announced in December, to complete the 2008 staff. In addition, reigning California League Trainer of the Year Jon Jochim will also be returning to Lancaster next season.
Smith was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1991 by the Houston Astros. He played 15 years in the Houston, White Sox, Colorado, Texas, Atlanta and Florida organizations. Smith battled back from injuries and a stint with Sioux Falls of the independent Northern League in 1998 and in 2000, made his Major League debut at age 30 with the Florida Marlins. He went on to start 34 games with Florida during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He also pitched with the Doosan Bears of the Korean League from 2004-05 and with the Brother Elephants of the Taiwan League from 2005-06 before concluding his career in 2006 with Baltimore's AAA Ottawa club.
Epperson, who enters his fifth season as a manager in the Boston organization, led the JetHawks to the California League's best regular season record in 2007, finishing the campaign at 83 - 57 and capturing both the first and second half South Division titles. In his managerial career, Epperson has posted an overall record of 288 - 267 (.518) and led his clubs to two post-seasons.
During his time with the Boston organization, the Epperson has managed several current major league stars who contributed to the Red Sox World Series sweep of Colorado in October. Among those on the Red Sox roster, Epperson has played a part in the development of 2007 American League Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and rookie sensation Clay Bucholz, who tossed a no-hitter in his second Major League start in September.
Febles joins the JetHawks after working in Lowell for the 2007 season. The El Siebo, Dominican Republic native spent six years at the big league level with the Kansas City Royals after signing with the club in 1993. In over 500 games with Kansas City, Febles hit .250 with 24 homeruns from 1998 - 2003. Last season, Febles served as a coach with the Lowell Spinners, the short-season A club of the Red Sox.
In addition to the coaching staff, JetHawks trainer Jon Jochim returns for his second year in Lancaster. The 2007 California League Trainer of the Year enters his sixth season in the Boston organization, having spent time previously with Lowell and the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
The JetHawks open the 2008 regular season on April 3 at High Desert before returning to Clear Channel Stadium for the home opener on April 10 against the Lake Elsinore Storm. Merchandise featuring the JetHawks new team identity is available now at the JetHawks Gift Store located at Clear Channel Stadium and also on-line at www.JetHawks.com. Tremendous ticket packages starting at only $56 are available for purchase now by calling 661.726.5400.
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California League Stories from February 6, 2008
- Former Major League Pitcher Chuck Smith Named JetHawks Pitching Coach - Lancaster JetHawks
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