Tony Franklin will return for his 8th season as the manager of the Trenton Thunder, the team announced today. The Eastern League Manager of the Year in 2012, Franklin won his third league title last year and holds the franchise record for most managerial victories and most games managed.
“Tony Franklin is a great asset to the Thunder and our community,” said Thunder General Manager Will Smith in a press release. “The success that we’ve enjoyed on the field during his tenure is unprecedented and we’re excited to see Tony back to defend last season’s championship.”
Tommy Phelps, who played for the Florida Marlins from 2003-04 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005, will return for his sixth season as Trenton’s pitching coach.
The rest of the coaching staff will have a different look to it in 2014.
Ten-year major league veteran Marcus Thames is the new Thunder hitting coach. Although he spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers, he made his major league debut with the New York Yankees in 2002 and returned near the end to play a role on the 2010 playoff team.
Longtime backup catcher Orlando Mercado, who played for the Seattle Mariners (1982-1984), Texas Rangers (1986), Detroit Tigers (1987), Los Angeles Dodgers (1987), Oakland Athletics (1988), Minnesota Twins (1989), New York Mets (1990), and Montreal Expos (1990), will also join the Thunder coaching staff.
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