Michael Johns Named Bulls Manager as Rays Announce 2023 Minor League Staff

January 24, 2023 - International League (IL) - Durham Bulls News Release

DURHAM, NC - The back-to-back Triple-A National Champion Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced their field staff for the 2023 campaign at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, with Opening Night 2023 set for Friday, March 31. Michael Johns is set to join Durham as Manager, succeeding Brady Williams, who was elevated to the role of Tampa Bay Rays Third Base Coach after three seasons as Bulls skipper. Joining Johns are pitching coach Brian Reith, hitting coach Kenny Hook and bench coach Reinaldo Ruiz.

"We are very excited to welcome Michael to the Bull City," said Bulls General Manager Tyler Parsons. "The Bulls have been incredibly fortunate to have a legacy of winning managers with Charlie Montoyo, Bill Evers, and, most recently, Brady Williams. We look forward to working with Michael and the rest of his staff for what should be another exciting season in 2023."

Johns has served as the Rays' Minor League Field Coordinator since 2018. He boasts eight years of managing experience with the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs (2015-17), Low-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (2014), Single-A Hudson Valley Renegades (2013), and Short-Season Princeton Rays (2010-12), winning the Florida State League title in his first year with Charlotte in 2015. In those eight seasons, he has accumulated 400 managerial victories.

Pitching coach Brian Reith returns to Durham for his second season with the Bulls. Prior to his arrival in the Bull City, Reith spent the 2021 season on the Rays staff as major league fellow, pitching development, as well as pitching coach with Class-A Bowling Green (2018-19) and Short-A Hudson Valley (2015-17).

Kenny Hook joins the Bulls as hitting coach, replacing Will Bradley who was promoted to Rays Minor League Hitting Coordinator. Hook joins Durham's staff after spending the last three seasons in the Los Angeles Angels organization as a hitting coach for Double-A Rocket City (2021-22) and Class-A Inland Empire (2020, season canceled).

Bench Coach Reinaldo Ruiz returns to Durham for his third season with the Bulls. He has previously managed at multiple stops including Bowling Green (2015-17, 2019) and Charlotte (2018). Rounding out the staff are athletic trainers Kris Russell (third season) and Tsutomu Kamiya (first season), in addition to first-year conditioning coach Steve Chase.

The Bulls begin the defense of their back-to-back Triple-A National Title reign at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday, March 31 for a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.

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