Former Major League catcher Robby Hammock will manage the 2014 Visalia Rawhide, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced last week.
Arizona also sends former Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Bobby Smith back to Tulare County as the Rawhide hitting coach, while 10-year Major League veteran Gil Heredia will serve as pitching coach.
Hammock, 36, played in parts of six Major League seasons for the D-backs, and played in 16 professional seasons overall. He made his big league debut in 2003, and retired after the 2011 season. His most memorable moment came on May 18, 2004, when he was behind the plate for Randy Johnson’s perfect game.
Hammock spent last season as manager of the Missoula Osprey, the Diamondbacks Short-Season Class A affiliate. He originally hails from Macon, Georgia, and now resides in Peoria, Arizona.
Smith, 39, returns for his second season as Rawhide hitting coach. He played in parts of five seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998-2002, and collected a pinch hit in their first game as an expansion franchise. This will be his fourth season as a hitting coach in the D-backs farm system.
Gil Heredia, meanwhile, also returns for his second season as Rawhide pitching coach. It will be his fifth season in the D-backs organization. He spent parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, making his debut with the San Francisco Giants and ending his career with the Oakland A’s, where he once defeated Roger Clemens in a playoff game.
With promising new Diamondbacks draft picks working their way through the system, the Rawhide coaching staff figures to have plenty of talent to work with.
“We look forward to having Randy Hammock and the rest of this terrific coaching staff lead the 2014 Rawhide,” said club General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft. “It will be our eighth season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have been a great partner to the ballclub and the Visalia community.”
The Rawhide open their 2014 season at home on Thursday, April 3 against the Stockton Ports. For ticket information, call 732-4433 ext. 826.