It’s a long way from Boston to New Orleans, but Arnie Beyeler likely will feel right at home.
The parent Miami Marlins announced Beyeler as the new manager of the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs on Friday. He managed the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2011 and ’12 when Zephyrs owner Lou Schwechheimer and General Manager Augusto “Cookie” Rojas were there.
“We had some good players and we won a lot of games,” said Beyeler, who led Pawtucket to the International League championship in 2012, its first in 28 years. “We had a lot of fun, and the stadium was just a great atmosphere.”
Beyeler (pronounced “Baylor”) comes to the Zephyrs after three years as first-base coach with the Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket’s parent team. However, he also has 13 years of minor league experience, including nine with Pawtucket, and has an 802-756 career record.
He said his Red Sox had not renewed his contract when Marlins vice president of player development Marc Delpiano called. His hiring comes during a shake-up of staff with the Marlins.
Beyeler replaces Andy Haines, who spent two years with the Z’s in his first Triple-A job. Haines took the job as the Chicago Cubs’ minor league hitting instructor in late November amid all the changes taking place.
The Zephyrs have had one winning season since 2007, that coming in 2012.
Delpiano, who is in his first year with the Marlins, has known Beyler since he managed in Double-A and Delpiano was a special assistant to the Boston Red Sox’s general manager. In that position, Delpiano roved to each minor league team staying abreast of prospects.
“(Beyeler) is a true professional, a very good leader of men, someone who can carry out the organization’s vision,” Delpiano said. “He comes with a variety of teaching experience at every level, including the big leagues.
“I watched him work, (assess) players, where he saw players present and future. I always came away extremely respectful of the job he did and his integrity and leadership abilities. His players had great respect for him.”
The Zephyrs also will have a new pitching coach in Derek Botelho, a new hitting coach in Paul Phillips and a new trainer in Brian Bobier. Ronnie Deck was retained as bullpen coach, and Quentin Eberhardt returns as strength and conditioning coach, as well as Jamie Tutko as video coordinator.
Botelho, who has 38 years experience in pro baseball, comes to the Z’s after being the Atlanta Braves’ minor league pitching rehab instructor. He has been a pitching coach for nine years, including three in Triple-A.
Phillips had been the hitting and catching coach at Lipscomb University the past four years but spent parts of 15 years with four Major League teams as a catcher. He was drafted in the ninth round in 1998 from Alabama.
Even with all the familiarity, things will be quite new for Beyeler, he said, managing in the Pacific Coast League. And, due to injuries, the past two seasons have seen the Marlins make an unusual number of call-ups, which affected the Z’s continuity and consistency.
“I know there’s a lot of moving parts with the Marlins’ organization, starting at the big league level,” he said. “So there will be a lot of new people, a lot of new things. I’m in a new system, I’m new to the National League. All the moves, all the double-switches should be a lot of fun.”