Longtime Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin will not return to that role in 2015, although he will remain a part of the New York Yankees organization, the team announced today.
Replacing Franklin in the dugout is former major league infielder Al Pedrique, who managed the Tampa Yankees to a 71-68 record last year. Pedrique, originally signed as an undrafted amateur free agent out of Venezuela, played 174 games over three seasons with the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers between 1987 and 1989.
“The Thunder are excited for the 2015 season to begin with Al Pedrique leading the charge on the field,” said Thunder General Manager Will Smith in a press release. “Al has an impressive coaching resume and we welcome him and all of our coaches to the Thunder this season.”
Jersey City native Jose Rosado will be the Trenton Thunder pitching coach this season, after spending four years in that role with the Gulf Coast Yankees. A two-time All-Star, Rosado went 37-45 for the Kansas City Royals between 1996 and 2000.
P.J. Pilittere, a member of the Thunder’s 2007 and 2008 Eastern League Championship teams, returns to Trenton as the team’s hitting coach in 2015. Michel Hernandez, who played in five games for the New York Yankees in 2003 and 40 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 and 2009 after a brief stint in independent league baseball with the Somerset Patriots in 2007, rounds out Trenton’s 2015 coaching staff.
The Trenton Thunder are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Last year’s team finished with a 67-75 record, in fourth place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division, 21 games behind the Portland Sea Dogs.
Franklin led the Thunder to three Eastern League Championships during his eight years with the club.
Although I have a great deal of respect for what Franklin accomplished with Trenton, I’m glad I’ll see some new faces in the first base dugout this year. It would be a nice gesture if Franklin becomes the first Yankee-era member of the Trenton Thunder to have his uniform number retired by the team.
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