Luis Dorante, who was the bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2008-10 and has managed 11 seasons in the minor leagues, will be the manager of the Charleston RiverDogs in 2014, the New York Yankees announced Tuesday.
Dorante most recently was the first base coach for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, the past two seasons and he also skippered the Aguilas de Zulia to a 34-29 record and second-place finish in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason. Dorante, a native of Falcon, Venezuela, spent six seasons as a player in the Boston Red Sox organization prior to beginning his coaching career.
"Luis has a load of coaching experience, all the way up to the major league level, and has also successfully managed for many years," said Pat Roessler, the Yankees' director of player development. "We are excited to have Luis lead this group in Charleston for the 2014 season."
Dorante replaces Al Pedrique, who has been named manager of the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League. For the RiverDogs, a Class A affiliate of the Yankees in the South Atlantic League, Dorante becomes the sixth manager in as many years. He follows Pedrique (2013), Carlos Mendoza (2012), Aaron Ledesma (2011), Greg Colbrunn (2010) and Torre Tyson (2009).
The Yankees also announced that first base coach Justin Tordi will return to the staff. A former Florida Gator, Tordi is a native of Rochester Hills, Mich. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 46th round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, Fla., and by the Cincinnati Reds in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Florida.
The team's new hitting coach will be former RiverDogs outfielder Edwar Gonzalez. A right-handed hitter from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Gonzalez spent nine seasons as a player in the Yankees organization, reaching as high as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2010. Gonzalez spent last year as hitting coach of the Gulf Coast League Yankees 2 team.
Another familiar face that is new to the staff this year is pitching coach Carlos Chantres, who served in the same capacity in Charleston in 2011 under Ledesma. Chantres had a 12-year playing career as a right-handed pitcher in the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Philadelphia Phillies' organizations. He spent the past two seasons as the pitching coach for the short season Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League.
Jimmy Downam, who was with the Staten Island Yankees last year, will serve as the trainer, while Anthony Velazquez, who was with the Philadelphia Phillies organization last year, is the new strength and conditioning coach. J.R. Bassett returns as the clubhouse manager for his third season in the Lowcountry.
The RiverDogs open the 2014 home campaign on April 7 against the Greenville Drive.