The Rome Braves have announced their field staff for 2011. Paul Runge has been named manager coming to Rome from Danville after six successful seasons. Joining Runge is hitting coach Carlos Mendez from Danville and pitching coach Derrick Lewis who also comes to Rome from the Danville squad. Trainer Ty Cobbs joins the Rome staff from the Gulf Coast League.
“I’m excited to welcome our new coaches to Rome to guide our team,” says Michael Dunn, Rome Braves General Manager. “We’re very familiar with Paul, Derrick, and Carlos and welcome them to our staff. We look for great things in 2011.”
Paul Runge, a 14 year coaching veteran in the Braves organization, was named the 2009 Braves Minor League Manager of the Year. In his six seasons with Danville, he led the team to four first place finishes in the Appalachian League including three championship titles. Runge’s managerial experience dates back to 1993 including stops in Greenville, Durham, Macon, Idaho Falls, and Eugene, Oregon. A shortstop, Runge was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the ninth round out of Jacksonville University in 1979 and enjoyed an eight year playing career with the Braves, Padres, and Blue Jays.
Carlos Mendez begins his fourth year as a coach in the Braves organization. Mendez, a career .297 hitter at the minor league level, played 16 seasons with five different organizations (Kansas City, Detroit, Oakland, Baltimore, and Atlanta) from 1991 – 2007. During his 16 year career he often ranked in the top ten in several offensive categories and he was also named to several All Star teams.
Pitching coach Derrick Lewis begins his eighth year of coaching after three seasons in Danville and four in the Gulf Coast League. Lewis’ affiliation with the Braves dates back to 1997 when Atlanta selected him in the 20th round. He spent six years as a pitcher in the Braves minor league system and was named as the Myrtle Beach Pitcher of the Year in 1999 when he finished second in the Carolina League in ERA.
Trainer Ty Cobbs worked in the Gulf Coast League last season after spending one year in Danville. He previously served as the assistant trainer with the GCL Braves in 2007 and has also worked at major league spring training. Cobbs is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.
“We’re looking forward to having Paul Runge, Derrick Lewis, Carlos Mendez and Ty Cobbs join the Rome staff,” says Atlanta Braves Director of Player Development, Kurt Kemp. “Paul, Derrick, and Carlos have done a great job of helping develop our young players at Danville and we expect that they will do the same with the players assigned to Rome.”