Last Monday former Double-A Springfield Cardinals manager, Ron ‘Pop’ Warner, was promoted as the Memphis Redbirds new skipper. This will be Warner’s first time as a manager in the Pacific Coast League but not his first time being a part of the PCL. Pop is the only ‘Birds manager to have actually played for the Memphis Redbirds. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 1991 where he spent nine years in the organization, playing for Memphis from 1998-99.
Pop will take the place of previous manager Chris ‘Hammer’ Maloney, who was promoted to first base coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. During his five year stint with the ‘Birds, Hammer led the team to a 367-350 record. Maloney also became the club’s all-time winningest manager as he surpassed former manager Gaylen Pitts during the 2011 season.
Both pitching coach Blaise Ilsley and hitting coach Mark Budaska will return to Memphis for their fifth consecutive season. Ilsley’s pitchers posted the lowest ERA in the PCL last season with a 4.10 while Budaska coached the hitters to a .270 average. The Redbirds also welcome back Athletic Trainer Chris Conroy for his eighth season.