Second-Year Skipper Joined by Returnee Snyder, Newcomer Timmons
The Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced Jared Sandberg will return for his second consecutive season as the team’s manager. Ozzie Timmons will join the staff as the Bulls’ new hitting coach, while Pitching Coach Kyle Snyder, Athletic Trainer Mike Sandoval and Strength and Conditioning Coach Bryan King all return to the staff in 2016.
In his first campaign as Durham’s manager in 2015, Jared Sandberg led the Bulls to a 74-70 record. The winning mark came despite the Bulls using a record number of players (63), undergoing a franchise-record 213 roster moves, and playing in the first division in league history in which every team finished with a winning record. The 2016 season will mark the Olympia, Wash. native’s eighth season as a minor league manager, all coming in the Rays organization at five different levels. The 37-year-old has compiled a career mark of 383-326 (.540), while advancing to the postseason on two occasions. Just the fourth manager in the franchise’s 19-year Triple-A history, Sandberg spent the first nine years of a 12-year playing career in the Tampa Bay system after being drafted by the organization in 1996. He played parts of five seasons with the Bulls from 2000-2004, and spent parts of three seasons at the major league level with Tampa Bay from 2001-2003.
After spending seven seasons with the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits, Ozzie Timmons joins the Bulls as the team’s hitting coach. The 2016 season will mark Timmons’ 10th year as a minor league coach, all of which have come with Tampa Bay minor league affiliates. The 45-year-old enjoyed a 16-year playing career between seven organizations, two foreign leagues and the independent Atlantic League. The University of Tampa product spent the 2000 season with the Bulls, hitting .300 and blasting 29 home runs, while leading the IL with 104 RBI and 100 runs scored. Timmons replaces Dave Myers, who served as Durham’s hitting coach from 2009-2015.
A former first round draft pick and UNC standout, Kyle Snyder returns for his second season as the Bulls’ pitching coach. In his first year in the Bull City, Durham pitchers struck out a league-high 1,117 batters, while walking the third-fewest batters on the circuit (413). The 2016 season marks Snyder’s fifth with the Rays, serving as pitching coach for Short-Season Hudson Valley in 2012 and Single-A Bowling Green in 2013, before serving as a pitching coordinator in 2014. Snyder has served as pitching coach on a Sandberg-led team three times previously, with those teams combining for a 208-150 (.581) record and two postseason berths.
Mike Sandoval rejoins the Bulls for his fifth season in 2016 as the team’s athletic trainer. Before his time in the Rays system, he spent 25 seasons within the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, including 10 seasons as assistant athletic trainer at the major league level.
Bryan King will return for his third season as the Bulls’ strength and conditioning coach in 2016. Prior to joining the Tampa Bay system in 2014, he spent the previous five seasons in the same position with the Toronto Blue Jays at the big league level.
The Durham Bulls open the 2016 International League season on Thursday, April 7 against the Charlotte Knights at the DBAP. Full-season, mini plan and group ticket packages for the 2016 season are available now. For more information visit durhambulls.com, the DBAP ticket office or call 919.956.BULL.
Thanks to DBBC’s Matt Sutor for this capcom story & photo.