Brevard County Manatees 2014 Field Staff Announced
By Brevard County Manatees // January 14, 2014
Joe Ayrault to lead 'Tees once again
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The Milwaukee Brewers announced today the field staffs for its minor league affiliates, including the Brevard County Manatees.
Returning to Brevard County for 2014 will be manager Joe Ayrault, coach Ned Yost IV, athletic trainer Tommy Craig and strength and conditioning specialist Jonah Mergen. Joining the Manatees’ field staff will be Dave Chavarria as the team’s pitching coach and Reggie Williams as a coach.
Mark Dewey, who was Brevard County’s pitching coach for the past two seasons, will be Milwaukee’s assistant minor league pitching coordinator.
In 2013, Ayrault led the ‘Tees to a 37-30 mark in the first half of the season, as Brevard finished a half game out of first place. The Manatees finished the season in third place overall in the North division with a 66-68 record.
This will be Ayrault’s fifth season managing in the Brewers’ organization as he was the skipper for Helena, Milwaukee’s Rookie-League affiliate, in both 2010 and 2011.
Ayrault previously managed in the Florida State League from 2007-2009 with the Sarasota Reds and he was also a coach in the Texas Rangers organization.
During his playing career, Ayrault spent eight seasons in the Braves’ minor league system as a catcher. He made his Major League debut on September 1, 1996 for Atlanta and was included on the postseason roster for the Braves as they went on to play in the 1996 World Series.
Yost will also be back for his third year as a coach for the Manatees. Yost is in his fifth season as a coach in the Brewers system. From 2009-2011, he was a coach with the Helena Brewers.
Prior to coaching, Yost spent three seasons as an infielder in Milwaukee’s farm system from 2005-07. He played in 71 games over two seasons with the Manatees in 2006 and 2007. He is the son of former Brewers manager and current Royals manager, Ned Yost III.
Craig – the 2012 Florida State League Trainer of the Year – will be back in Brevard County for his eighth season as the team’s athletic trainer. Before joining the Brewers’ organization, Craig was with the Toronto Blue Jays for 25 years.
Craig filled many roles during his years with Toronto, including head trainer and rehab coordinator. He served as head trainer during Toronto’s back-to-back Championship seasons in 1992 and 1993. Craig also served as head trainer for the American League during the 1991 MLB All-Star Game and as a trainer for Team Canada during for the 2006, 2009 and 2013 editions of the World Baseball Classic.
Mergen will be returning for his fourth season as Brevard County’s strength and conditioning specialist. He previously worked in the Houston Astros organization in 2010, as strength and conditioning coach of the Greeneville Astros and also served as the coordinator of strength and conditioning for Houston’s extended spring training program.
Prior to working in baseball, Mergen has also worked in strength and conditioning departments of North Carolina State University, the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and the National Strength and Conditioning Association World Headquarters.
Chavarria, who will be in his first season as Brevard County’s pitching coach, spent the past two seasons with Class-A Wisconsin in the same role.
Before joining the Brewers organization, Chavarria spent 11 seasons coaching in the Texas Rangers organization with three of their minor league teams. He also spent a season as the assistant pitching coordinator for Texas’ farm system.
Chavarria pitched in the minor leagues for nine seasons with Texas, St. Louis and San Francisco, while missing the 1993 and 1998 seasons due to shoulder injuries.
His father, Ossie, played in the Major Leagues for two years with the Kansas City Athletics in 1966 and 1967. Chavarria resides in Bakersfield, Calif., with his wife, Jamie, and seven children.
Williams joins the ‘Tees after spending his first four seasons in the Brewers organization as a minor league roving outfield and baserunning coordinator.
Previously to joining Milwaukee, he spent 13 seasons as the vice president of community relations for the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Williams was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round of the 1982 draft and spent four seasons in the Major Leagues with Los Angeles (1985-87) and Cleveland (1988).
He played collegiately at Southern University and following his playing career he received two master’s degrees from the University of Memphis. He earned his first master’s in teaching in 1994 and his second in school supervision and administration in 1997. Williams resides in Collierville, Tenn., with his wife, Allyson, and his three children.