Pedrique to coach RiverDogs

Al Pedrique, who served as interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004 and was most recently the bench coach for the Houston Astros, will guide the Charleston RiverDogs next season.

The Charleston RiverDogs in 2013 will have their fifth manager in five seasons but the new guy comes with major league experience.

The New York Yankees, the RiverDogs parent club, announced Monday that Al Pedrique, who served as interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004 and was most recently the bench coach for the Houston Astros, will guide the RiverDogs next season.

Pedrique played three seasons in the Major Leagues with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers.

“Al Pedrique is a highly respected professional who has wide and varied experiences in the game,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president for baseball operations. “He will provide great leadership for our young prospects in Charleston.”

Pedrique replaces Carlos Mendoza, who has been named a roving defensive coach for the Yankees’ minor league teams.

Pedrique will be the fifth RiverDogs manager in as many years and follows Mendoza (2012) Aaron Ledesma (2011), Greg Colbrunn (2010) and Torre Tyson (2009).

Born on August 11, 1960, Pedrique (pay-DREE-kay) was a right-handed hitting shortstop who played for the Mets (1987), Pirates (1987-88) and Tigers (1989). He was signed by the Mets in 1978 and made his debut nine years later. He was a career .247 hitter with one home run, 36 RBIs, 32 runs, 18 doubles and one triple with five stolen bases in 174 games.

After retiring, Pedrique managed in the minors for the Diamondbacks, Astros and Kansas City Royals organizations from 2000-02.

He returned to the majors in 2003 as the third base coach for the Diamondbacks. In 2004, he began the season as manager of the Tucson Sidewinders, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, but he was hired as manager of the Diamondbacks on an interim basis when Bob Brenly was fired in July.

Pedrique compiled a 22–61 record, and was replaced by Wally Backman and then Bob Melvin at the end of the season.

Pedrique created some controversy as manager when he ordered the Diamondbacks pitching staff to intentionally walk Barry Bonds throughout an entire three-game series against the San Francisco Giants from Sept. 10–12, since Bonds was on the verge of hitting his 700th career home run, which Pedrique did not want to happen in Arizona.

He was hired as the Astros bench coach on Oct. 31, 2009, after previously serving as minor league field coordinator and third base coach for the Astros.

The Yankees also announced that pitching coach Danny Borrell will return to the staff. The organization’s former rehab pitching coordinator in Tampa spent last season with the RiverDogs and the season prior as the pitching coach for the Staten Island Yankees. He is a native of Sanford, N.C., and was a second-team All-America left-hander from Wake Forest.

Also joining the staff will be hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, who replaces Mount Pleasant resident Greg Colbrunn, who recently accepted the hitting coach position with the Boston Red Sox. Pilittere spent eight seasons in the Yankees’ minor league system as a catcher, having reached the AAA level with Scranton/Wilkes Barre from 2009-11. He is a native of San Dimas, Calif., where he was drafted by the Yankees in the 13th round out of Cal State-Fullerton.

Former Florida Gator Justin Tordi, a native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will serve as the first base coach. Tordi was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 46th round of the 2002 draft. He earned second–team all-SEC honors as an infielder.