Along with retaining the entire Triple-A Oklahoma City coaching staff for the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced the same holds true for Double-A Tulsa, led by manager Ryan Garko. He’s again joined by pitching coach Bill Simas, hitting coach Terrmel Sledge and coach Leo Garcia.
Garko enters his second season with the Dodgers organization, Simas his seventh, Sledge’s second, and Garcia’s ninth. All but Garcia were newcomers to the Drillers coaching staff in 2016.
Simas was the pitching coach for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015 and Sledge was the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs’ Single-A Eugene affiliate. Garcia has served as the Drillers’ fourth coach since 2015.
In his first season as manager, Garko led the Drillers to a 37-32 record in the first half of the season, which included a franchise record 10-game winning streak. Tulsa finished the year 68-71 overall.
The Drillers boasted several of the organization’s notable prospects, including Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun, Chase De Jong Brock Stewart and Alex Verdugo. De Jong was named Texas League Pitcher of the Year.
Andrew Toles also spent a portion of the season with the Drillers en route to his meteoric rise to the Majors. The Drillers had 12 players selected to the Texas League All-Star Game, and saw 18 members promoted to Oklahoma City this past season.
Tulsa figures to face an uphill battle in 2017, as multiple top prospects are likely to make the jump to Triple-A.