MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (February 22, 2019) – Due to coaching staff changes at the Major League level for the Cubs, Steve Lerud has been promoted to the manager’s role for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 2019 and hitting coach Ty Wright will return to the club. The Cubs have made the following changes in their Major and Minor League coaching staffs:
-Mark Johnson (who managed the Pelicans in 2015) has been promoted from the manager of Double-A Tennessee to Chicago Cubs catching coordinator.
-Jimmy Gonzalez (who was originally announced as the Pelicans’ 2019 manager) has been promoted to Double-A Tennessee as its manager.
-Lerud has been promoted to Myrtle Beach from Short-Season Eugene, where he served as the manager in 2018.
-Ricardo Medina (who was the announced hitting coach for the Pelicans in 2019) has been promoted to Rookie-Level Mesa as its manager.
-Wright(who was the assistant coach for the Pelicans in 2017 and their hitting coach in 2018) will return to Myrtle Beach for a third straight year to replace Medina as hitting coach.
Originally a third-round selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, Lerud played 13 minor league seasons and appeared in nine major league games as a catcher between 2012 and 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies. During his journey in the Pirates system, he played with the Carolina League’s Lynchburg Hillcats in 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Over his minor league career, Lerud hit .224/.323/.345 with 63 home runs and 359 RBIs over 926 games for the Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington and San Fransisco systems. Following his retirement in 2017, the Reno, Nev. native began his coaching career in with the Short-Season Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League as their manager in 2018. Following a 14-24 first half, the Ems snuck into the playoffs in the second half and won the NWL Championship on a walk-off balk in the final game of the series.
A familiar face on the Grand Strand, Wright returns for his third season on the coaching staff of the Pelicans. 2019 will mark the Tyler, Texas native’s 12th season with the Cubs organization, combined between his playing days and coaching Drafted by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2007 draft out of Oklahoma State University, Wright enjoyed a seven-year playing career in Chicago’s system, reaching as high as Triple-A Iowa. He batted .292/.352/.429 with 60 home runs and 381 RBIs in 724 games from 2007-2013 before playing with the independent Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League in 2014, when he hit .265/.328/.399 with 13 homers and 64 RBIs in 112 contests.
The Pelicans’ 2019 season kicks off on April 4 against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Season tickets are available now. For more information or to purchase tickets visit myrtlebeachpelicans.com or call 843-918-6000.