Rockies Use Innovative Approach to Revamp Farm System
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--The Rockies are introducing an innovative approach in 2013--One that's never been seen in minor league baseball.
Although the Grand Junction Rockies are coming off a very successful inaugural season, the big league club finished with its worst record in franchise history.
So, it's clear: Change is necessary. Starting from the bottom up.
Former manager Tony Diaz will return to Grand Junction this summer, but as the club's Development Supervisor; meanwhile, Anthony Sanders will move over from Tri-City to manage the team. The Olympic gold medalist served as the hitting coach for the Rockies' short-season Class A affiliate.
Each minor league team will feature the new position, Development Supervisor, which was added to the coaching staff for 2013.
"What the Colorado Rockies are hoping for is more consistency," Grand Junction Rockies general manager Tim Ray said. "More continuity within the system."
The Development Supervisors will be with their respective team on a consistent basis, replacing the roving instructors who visited each team a few times during the season.
The Rockies are the first team to take on this cutting edge approach.
"We are definitely innovating this," Diaz said. "The game has been around for almost 200 years, and there have been a lot of changes through obviously a very traditional game.
"The communication has to be outstanding laterally...from top to bottom. That's going to be the biggest challenge."
In a statement released by the club, the new role "is a leadership role that is highly responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices."
Ryan Kibler will return as the Grand Junction Rockies pitching coach. Lee Stevens will replace Andrew Saylor, the new Tri-City manager, as the hitting coach.