José Alguacil, who played his nine-year professional baseball career in the minor leagues before climbing the ranks as a minor-league coach beginning in 2002, will manage the River Cats in 2016, the Triple-A affiliate of the Giants announced Tuesday.
Alguacil, whose name is pronounced “ALL-gwah-SEAL” (which translates to “sheriff” in English), made his managerial debut last season with Double-A Richmond, where he led the Flying Squirrels to a 72-68 record for third place in the Eastern League’s Western Division.
He replaces Bob Mariano, who spent one season as the River Cats’ manager.
Before Richmond, Alguacil, 39, spent eight seasons in the Giants organization as a roving instructor. In 2014, he was the organization’s coordinator of infield instruction. He began his coaching career in 2002 in the Montreal Expos organization. He briefly coached in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals in 2005.
Alguacil will be joined next season by returning pitching coach Dwight Bernard and new hitting coach Damon Minor. LJ Petra is back as the River Cats’ trainer and Adam Vish comes aboard as the strength and conditioning coach.
Minor, who played four seasons with the Giants in the early 2000s, was the hitting coach for the New Orleans Zephyrs the past five seasons. Under Bernard’s watch last season, the River Cats’ pitching staff had an ERA of 3.85, a franchise season record.
The River Cats begin the 2016 season against the Salt Lake Bees on the road April 7 and their home debut is April 15.