“We’re excited to have him back,” Johnson City General Manager Zac Clark said. “The continuity is great. He’s a player’s manager, which I think you need at this level. He’s familiar with the community and my staff. It’s good all around.”
Pitching coach Rick Harig will also be back with the team. The Cardinals will have a new hitting coach, Brian Burgamy, and trainer, Alex Wolfinger. A strength coach will be announced at a later date.
This year will be Espinoza’s 14th in the Cardinals’ organization as a player, coach and manager. He even spent one year in the majors as the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen catcher. He turns 30 on March 8.
Espinoza played in Johnson City in 2007 and served as the team’s hitting coach in 2016 before being promoted to manager the following season.
“We’re looking forward to another good season,” Clark said. “We know St. Louis is going to send us talent. We’re looking forward to competing.”
Burgamy spent last season as a coach for the Memphis Redbirds. He spent 16 seasons playing professionally in the minors and foreign professional leagues. Wolfinger previously served as the trainer for the University of Memphis.
The Appalachian League season begins on June 18 and the Cardinals play host to the Pulaski Mariners in the season-opening series.