Daily Archives: February 17, 2024


On Wednesday the San Jose Giants announced their coaching staff for the 2024 season. Here’s the press release:

February 14, 2024

San Jose, CA– The San Jose Giants announced their 2024 coaching staff with Ydwin Villegas set to take over as the club’s Manager. Villegas returns to San Jose after serving as the team’s Fundamentals Coach during the 2023 season.

Villegas, who signed as a player with the San Francisco Giants in 2008 out of Venezuela, now takes over the San Jose club after spending four years as a Fundamentals Coach in the Giants’ system. In addition to his time as Fundamentals Coach, Villegas also served as San Jose’s Bullpen Catcher in 2019. Villegas played all seven seasons of his professional career as an infielder in the Giants’ minor league system from 2008-2014, including three seasons in San Jose. In 415 career games he batted .216 with 45 doubles, four homers and 118 RBI in 415 career games.

Travis Ishikawa returns to San Jose for a third consecutive season as the club’s hitting coach. The San Jose lineup under Ishikawa in 2023 were tops in the California League in batting average (.266) and ranked second in runs scored (5.8/game) — just shy of the team record set by the 2021 championship club (5.9/game). The Giants’ 251 doubles and .752 OPS were both second-best in the Cal League while San Jose also had the second-fewest strikeouts of any hitting group in the league. Prior to his big-league career, Ishikawa spent parts of three different seasons in San Jose (2004-2005, 2007), playing key roles in two San Jose Giants’ California League championships in 2005 and 2007. Giants’ fans of course remember Ishikawa for his six seasons spent in San Francisco, which included the unforgettable late game heroics in the 2014 NLCS as his walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals vaulted San Francisco into the World Series.

Dan Runzler also returns for his third year as San Jose’s pitching coach. In 2023, Runzler’s San Jose staff led the California League in ERA for a third straight season (4.20), while ranking third in the league in strikeouts (9.7 per game) and third in saves (30). Drafted by the Giants in the 9th round of the 2007 draft, Runzler swiftly made his major league debut in 2009 for the San Francisco Giants after appearing in games for all four of the Giants’ full-season minor league affiliates that year. Runzler spent parts of two seasons in San Jose in 2009-2010 and was also a member of the 2014 San Francisco Giants World Championship team.

Rounding out the San Jose field staff is fundamentals coach Nathan Keavy, athletic trainer Kenta Miyazaki and strength and conditioning coach Frankie Corsetti.

The complete promotional calendar for the 2024 season will be announced this Friday, February 16 with single game tickets set to go on sale on Tuesday, February 20. The San Jose Giants 2024 Opening Night is Friday, April 5 at Excite Ballpark against the Fresno Grizzlies. For more information on Ticket Plans call 408.297.1435, visit the Excite Ballpark Box Office or log on to sjgiants.com.


On Tuesday the Oakland A’s announced the 2024 coaching staff for the Stockton Ports. Here’s the press release:

Manager – Javier Godard

Javier Godard takes the helm at Stockton after serving as hitting coach for Midland in 2023 and Lansing from 2021-22. He began his professional coaching career as a member of the Stockton staff in 2019 and was named hitting coach for Beloit in 2020, prior to the cancellation of the minor league season.

Originally signed as an international free agent on Jan. 30, 2013, by the Oakland A’s, Godard went on to play six seasons of affiliated baseball with the club. He played three years in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the United States in 2016. His best season came in 2015 when he batted .277 with 16 doubles and 22 RBI in 59 games for the DSL A’s.

Godard was born in Baruta, Venezuela.

Pitching Coach – Gabriel Ozuna

Gabriel Ozuna enters his 17th season with the A’s, his second as pitching coach for Stockton. He previously served as the pitching coach of the A’s Arizona League affiliate for eight years after spending seven seasons as the pitching coach for Oakland’s Dominican Summer League squad.

Ozuna was originally signed by St. Louis as a non-drafted free agent in 1987 and enjoyed a 17-year professional career. He reached as high as Triple-A with Louisville in 1993, when he posted a 2.92 ERA in 35 relief appearances. He recorded a career ERA of 2.54 with 61 saves, including a season-high 28 in 1989 with Single-A Savannah.

He also pitched internationally in Mexico, Taiwan, Italy and his native Dominican Republic, where he played winter ball with the Licey Tigers and East Bulls.

Hitting Coach – Ron Witmeyer

Ron Witmeyer joins Stockton as the hitting coach, a role he previously held in Lansing in 2023. Originally drafted by the A’s in the seventh round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft, he has coached at every level of baseball since the end of his five-year playing career, including multiple stops at the collegiate level.

His coaching career began at Stanford University, his alma mater, in 1994, followed by stints as head coach at City College of San Francisco and as an assistant coach at California. In 2007, Witmeyer opened the first of two Frozen Ropes San Diego Baseball and Softball Training Centers, and from 2015-20, he was also the head coach at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, where he coached his sons Clay—a recent Washington University Business School graduate— and Tommy—currently a sophomore in the business school at Santa Clara University—throughout their high school baseball careers.

In 2021, Witmeyer was the manager of the independent Martinez Sturgeon, and most recently, he served as head coach at Marymount California University for the 2021-22 season.

Witmeyer’s college career was highlighted by back-to-back College World Series Championships at Stanford in 1987-88. After being drafted by the A’s, he made his Major League debut in 1991. He resides in San Diego, Calif.

Assistant Hitting Coach – Luis Baez

Luis Baez takes on the role of assistant hitting coach with Stockton, a role he previously held in Lansing in 2023. He began his coaching career with the A’s in 2018 as an infield coach in the Dominican Republic.

Originally signed by the A’s in 2009, Baez played professionally at several levels of the organization, batting .234 with 17 home runs and 113 RBI over a seven-year professional career. He is originally from Bani, Dominican Republic.

Athletic Trainer – Audyanna Merrick

Audyanna Merrick enters her fourth season with the Athletics, her first as head athletic trainer with Stockton. She previously served as assistant athletic trainer for the Arizona A’s from 2021-22 and as head athletic trainer with the ACL A’s in 2023. Merrick graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in April 2020. After graduation, she was hired as an Assistant Athletic Trainer at GCU where she worked with the baseball and men’s volleyball teams.

Merrick is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Kinesiology from A.T. Still University.

Sports Performance Coach – Nathaniel Penaranda

Nathaniel Penaranda enters his second season with Stockton after spending the previous two seasons with the Arizona A’s. Prior to that, he spent three years as a sports performance specialist for Grand Canyon University, where he oversaw the strength and conditioning programs for the men’s soccer, beach volleyball, and swim and dive teams. Prior to his time with GCU, he served as assistant strength coach for the University of Portland following stints at USC and TCU as a sports performance intern.

A native of Vancouver, Wash., Penaranda attended Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., where he played football. He has a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, along with five certifications in the strength and conditioning field.