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Mudcats Announce 2021 Coaching Staff

January 28, 2021 - Carolina League (CarL) - Carolina Mudcats News Release

Carolina Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault at Five County Stadium
Carolina Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault at Five County Stadium
(Carolina Mudcats)

ZEBULON - The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that Joe Ayrault will return as the manager of the Carolina Mudcats for the 2021 season. Ayrault's 2021 staff will consist of Pitching Coach Fred Dabney, Hitting Coach Bobby Spain, Coach Liu Rodriguez, Athletic Trainer Matt Deal and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen.

Ayrault, the winningest manager in Mudcats' franchise history, is back for his fifth consecutive season in Carolina. He was additionally scheduled to be Carolina's manager before the loss of the 2020 season due to Covid-19. Mergen and Deal are also both returnees to Carolina while Dabney, Spain and Rodriguez are all entering their first seasons in Zebulon with the Mudcats.

The Mudcats have totaled 203 victories since Ayrault took the helm in 2017 giving him the most wins by a manager in franchise history. Ayrault not only holds the record for most managerial wins in Mudcats' history, he is also tied for the most games managed having totaled 415 games as skipper in Carolina since 2017 (tying him with current Cincinnati Reds Manager David Bell, who managed the Mudcats from 2009 through 2011). Overall, Ayrault is entering his 12th consecutive season as a manager in Milwaukee's farm system and 15th consecutive season overall as a manager in Minor League Baseball.

Dabney is in his 18th season in the Brewers organization and his first with the Mudcats. He was most recently pitching coach of Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate in 2019; a role that he held from 2015 through 2019 before a scheduled assignment in 2020 to Double-A Biloxi.

Spain was originally assigned to Carolina in 2020 and is entering his second season assigned as a hitting coach with the Mudcats. He makes the jump to Low-A Carolina from rookie level Arizona where he served in the same role for the Brewers Blue squad in 2019. The 2021 season will be his third in the Brewers organization.

Rodriguez is also entering his first season with the Mudcats, but his ninth overall in the Brewers' organization. His most recent assignment in the Brewers system being manager of the club's then-Rookie level affiliate, the Rocky Mountain Vibes, in 2019. He was also scheduled to manage Rocky Mountain again in 2020.

Deal is in his third year with the Mudcats and his seventh as an athletic trainer in the Milwaukee system. His first season in the organization came in 2015 with the Dominican Summer League Brewers and continued with the Arizona League Brewers in 2016. Deal then went on to join the Pioneer League's Helena Brewers in 2017 and 2018, before coming to Carolina in 2019. He was also scheduled to be with the Mudcats in 2020. Mergen begins his fifth straight year with the Mudcats and 11th overall in the Milwaukee organization. Mergen was also originally assigned to the Mudcats before the 2020 season.

Images from this story

Carolina Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault at Five County Stadium
Carolina Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault at Five County Stadium


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