CHICAGO – In conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans have announced their on-field staff for the 2020 season. Steve Lerud will embark on his third season managing in the Cubs’ system and will lead the Pelicans for the second-straight season. The Pelicans’ will also welcome Anderson Tavarez (pitching coach), Paul McAnulty (hitting coach) and Will Skett (assistant hitting coach) to the Grand Strand in 2020. Logan Severson will return as the club’s athletic trainer for the third-consecutive season.
In 2019, Lerud managed the Pelicans for the first time after spending 2018 as the skipper for Short Season Eugene. Lerud guided the Emeralds to the 2018 Northwest League Championship in his first stint as a coach in Minor League Baseball. In his inaugural year with the Pelicans, Lerud led the Pelicans to a 34-35 record in the second half of the season and had them in postseason contention until the final week of the regular season.
Originally a third-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, Lerud played 13 minor league seasons and appeared in nine major league games as a catcher from 2012 to 2013. Lerud spent time in the Carolina League as a player when he was with the Lynchburg Hillcats in 2007 and 2008. During his career, the Reno, NV native hit .224/.323/.345 with 63 homers and 359 RBIs over 926 games in the Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington and San Francisco systems. Following his retirement in 2017, Lerud began his coaching career the following season in Eugene.
After spending 2019 in Arizona with the Mesa Cubs, Tavarez will return to Myrtle Beach in 2020 for his fourth season with the Birds. Tavarez was the Pelicans pitching coach from 2016-18 and is set to begin his 14th season as a coach in the Cubs’ organization. As a player, Tavarez spent four seasons as a pitcher in the Cubs’ system from 2002-05 and collected 30 wins across five levels.
McAnulty will join the Pelicans after spending the 2019 season as the hitting coach of the Low-A South Bend Cubs. During his stint in South Bend, McAnulty helped lead the Cubs to a Midwest League Championship. The Cubs led the Midwest League with a .260 batting average on the season. This season will be McAnulty’s third with Chicago. After being selected in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres in 2002, McAnulty embarked on an 11 year playing career that included parts of four seasons in the majors with the Padres and one season with the Los Angeles Angels. He played in 133 career games and hit .201 with six home runs during his time in the big leagues.
Skett joins the Myrtle Beach staff for his first year as a coach in Minor League Baseball after spending the last three seasons at Faith Baptist High School in Canoga Park, CA. There he led his team to a 60-6 record and helped them to their first-ever state championship appearance in 2017. Skett also started the baseball training and batting development center, So Cal Hitting Zone, in 2012. The center utilizes a data driven approach to improve player performance. Skett’s MiLB playing career consisted of three seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays’ system from 1996-98.
Severson enters his fifth season as a trainer in the Cubs’ system and his second with Myrtle Beach. The Morris, IL native served in the same role in both 2018 and 2019 after being with Low-A South Bend in 2016-17. He began his professional career as an intern with Triple-A Iowa in 2012 before obtaining his master’s degree at Western Illinois University from 2013-15.
The Pelicans’ 2020 season will begin on April 9 against the defending Carolina League Champion Wilmington Blue Rocks. The 2020 season is the 22nd season for the Pelicans franchise and fifth as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For tickets visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com, call (843) 918-6000, or visit the Pelicans Box Office.
Courtesy – Myrtle Beach Pelicans