Dorante returns as RiverDogs manager

The New York Yankees announced Luis Dorante will return to Charleston for a second season.

Luis Dorante will return for his second season as the manager for the Charleston RiverDogs, the New York Yankees announced on Tuesday.

Dorante, who led the Charleston RiverDogs to a 71-69 record a year ago, becomes the first manager to lead the RiverDogs in back-to-back seasons since Torre Tyson in 2008-09.

“I’m very happy to be coming back to Charleston,” Dorante said. “Charleston is a great city with a terrific ball park and great fans. There is a tremendous atmosphere at our home games.

“Every game there is something special going on, and the players feed off that excitement. We came up a little short last year (of making the playoffs), but we’ll do better this year.”

Prior to joining the RiverDogs in 2014, Dorante served as bullpen coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2008-10 and managed 11 seasons in the minor leagues. The RiverDogs, a Class A affiliate of the Yankees, went 33-37 in the first half of 2014 but went 38-32 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season.

Dorante, 46, was the first base coach for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, in 2012.

A native of Falcon, Venezuela, he spent six seasons as a player in the Boston Red Sox organization prior to beginning his coaching career.

Dorante appeared in 221 games over six seasons in the Red Sox farm system, compiling a career batting average of .216 with 32 doubles.

After retiring following the 1993 season, Dorante joined the Montreal Expos organization in 1994 as an international scout. He has managed in five different leagues over his 11 seasons at the helm, including the South Atlantic League in 1998 when he guided the now-defunct Cape Fear Crocs to a solid 80-61 finish.

Joining the staff as the team’s hitting coach is former RiverDogs manager and hitting coach Greg Colbrunn. A veteran of 13 major league seasons as a player, Colbrunn, who lives in Mount Pleasant, recently concluded a two-year stint (2013-14) as the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2013.

Colbrunn, 46, spent six of the last eight years with the RiverDogs, serving five seasons as the hitting coach from 2007-09 and 2011-12, and one campaign as the club’s manager in 2010.

Colbrunn hit .289 with 155 doubles, 12 triples, 98 home runs, 422 RBI, 337 runs, 170 walks and 29 stolen bases over 992 career big-league games with the Expos (1992-93), Marlins (1994-96), Twins (1997), Braves (1997-98), Rockies (1998), Diamondbacks (1999-2002, ’04) and Mariners (2003) while playing primarily at first base.

He won a World Series playing for Arizona in 2001 when the team upset the New York Yankees.

The Yankees also announced that Tim Norton would serve as pitching coach and Travis Chapman as the defensive coach.

Additionally, Jimmy Downam, who was with the RiverDogs last year, will return as the trainer while Anthony Velazquez, who also was with Charleston in 2014, returns as the strength and conditioning coach.