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Threshers 2020 Field Staff Announced

February 7, 2020 - Florida State League (FSL) - Clearwater Threshers News Release

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Philadelphia Phillies announced their 2020 Minor League coaching staffs on Friday, and the Clearwater Threshers will welcome four new faces to the club, as well as the return of Chris Heintz as the team's hitting coach, and Jose Salas as the strength and conditioning coach.

Manning the helm will be 1992 World Series MVP Pat Borders. The Lake Wales, Fla. resident managed the Williamsport Crosscutters the previous five seasons on his way to a 186-190 record. In 2015, Borders led the Crosscutters to a postseason appearance in his first year as a professional manager or coach.

The Columbus, Ohio native played 17 seasons at the Major League level with nine different teams, and finished his career with a .288 batting average and 69 home runs. Defensively, the backstop threw out 31.4% of attempted base stealers, and led all American League catchers in assists from 1992-94.

Borders was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays during their back-to-back World Series runs from 1992-93, and appeared in five postseasons during his career. The former catcher also played for Team USA in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Chris Heintz returns as the team's hitting coach for a second consecutive season. The Tampa native joined the Phillies player development staff before the 2018 season as a coach in the Gulf Coast League (R). Heintz previously coached at his alma mater, the University of South Florida, for five years from 2010-14, and spent two years with the Minnesota Twins organization as manager for the GCL team and coach for Single-A Beloit.

The local product of Countryside High School appeared in 34 major league games for the Twins over three seasons (2005-07) after being selected in the 19th round by the Chicago White Sox in the 1996 draft.

Hector Mercado will take over for Brad Bergesen, who is now in Reading (Double-A), as Clearwater's pitching coach for the 2020 season. The Kissimmee, Fla. resident enters his fifth year as a coach in the Phillies player development system after spending six seasons (2010-15) as a minor league pitching coach for the Houston Astros.

Mercado pitched parts of four seasons at the major league level for the Cincinnati Reds (2000-01) and Phillies (2002-03), going 5-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 122 games (3 starts). The 45-year-old was originally selected by Houston in the 13th round of the 1992 draft and pitched professionally for 17 years in the United States, Italy, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Taiwan, Mexico and Japan.

Mycal Jones rounds out the coaches for the Threshers. A fourth-round selection by the Atlanta Braves in 2009, Jones previously coached with the Houston Astros organization at the Double-A level with the Corpus Cristi Hooks.

Jose Salas returns for his second season as the Threshers' strength and conditioning coach. He joined the Phillies player development staff in May of 2016 and spent his first three years with the Gulf Coast League team before joining Clearwater. Salas previously interned as an athletic trainer with the Atlanta Braves' Gulf Coast League (R) team in 2014, and also spent three years (2014-16) with LaPorte High School in Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Culver Stockton College and his master's in kinesiology from Tarleton State University.

Steve Torregrossa joins Borders from Williamsport as Clearwater's athletic trainer. The Fair Lawn, N.J. native enters his third season as a full-time member of the Phillies player development staff after interning for two seasons (2016-17). He attained his bachelor's degree in science, athletic training from East Stroudsburg University and is currently working toward his master's degree from the California University of Pennsylvania. Torregrossa was the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Clarence Livingood Scholarship Award from the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

The Threshers begin their 2020 campaign Thursday, April 9 against the Dunedin Blue Jays (TOR) at Spectrum Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. For information regarding tickets and promotions, please visit, visit the BayCare Box Office at Spectrum Field, or call 727-467-4457.

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