By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, announced on Friday that David Berg will return to Jacksonville to serve as the club’s manager for the 2016 season. Rejoining Berg from his 2015 field staff will be hitting coach Rich Arena, coach John Pachot, and athletic trainer Cesar Roman. New to the staff in 2016 are pitching coach and Jacksonville native Storm Davis, strength and conditioning coach Robert Reichert, and video assistant Keanan Lamb.
In Berg’s first season as Jacksonville manager in 2015, five Suns received call-ups to the major league Miami Marlins, and seven players were named 2015 Southern League Midseason All-Stars.
“I’m excited to head back to Jacksonville,” Berg said. “Our staff is excited to work with the Suns new owner Mr. Babby along with his front office to see the fan experience continue to improve at the Baseball Grounds. Suns fans are very passionate and knowledgeable about the game, and I’m excited for this all to come together in a few months.”
Berg is in his seventh season in the Marlins organization. Prior to 2015 in Jacksonville he spent two of the previous three seasons as manager for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 2014, Greensboro finished the year with an 87-53 record, tied for first in the division and earned a playoff berth. He spent the 2013 season as the Marlins minor league infield coordinator after leading Greensboro to the South Atlantic League Championship series in 2012. Berg began managing in the Marlins system for the Jamestown Jammers in 2010. As a player, Berg was selected by the Marlins out of the University of Miami in the 38th round of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut for the Marlins on April 2, 1998 and he became the lowest-ever draft pick by the franchise to reach the Major Leagues. Berg hit a career best .313 average for the Marlins in 1998. Following the 2001 season, Berg signed with Toronto where he played for three seasons.
Davis, a graduate of University Christian High School and a Jacksonville resident in the offseason, is in his first season in the Marlins organization after spending the previous four years as a pitching coach in the Chicago Cubs organization. He spent the past two years in the Southern League as the pitching coach for the Tennessee Smokies, and was the High-A Daytona Cubs pitching coach in 2013. Davis was also the pitching coach for the Single-A Hickory Crawdads from 2011-12. Davis has also coached in Jacksonville before, serving two stints as the head baseball coach at The Bolles School from 1997-2001 and 2008-09. Davis pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons from 1982-94, and was a member of three World Series clubs, including the Baltimore Orioles (1983) and Oakland Athletics (1989). In total he posted a 113-96 record and 4.02 ERA over 442 games (239 starts) in the Major Leagues.
Arena enters his fourth season working with the Suns and his fifth overall with the Marlins organization. After serving as the Suns third base coach and working with Suns hitters in 2013 and 2014, Arena took over the hitting coach role for 2015. Arena has coached notable Miami Marlins such as Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, and Derek Dietrich during his time in Jacksonville. Arena spent the 2012 season as the hitting coach for the Jamestown Jammers. Before getting back into affiliated coaching, Arena worked at Team One Management from 2010-11 and coached as his alma mater, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic High School, from 2007-09. He spent the previous 10 years as a scout and coach in the New York Yankees minor league system.
Pachot (pronounced pah-showt), who played in Jacksonville during the Suns’ 2001 Southern League championship season, returns to Jacksonville for his second season as Suns coach. Pachot played 19 years professionally from 1993 to 2011 at all levels of the minor leagues and for several independent leagues as well. In 46 games with the Suns in 2001, he hit .243 with four home runs and 22 RBI.
Roman is in his 10th year overall as a trainer in the Marlins organization and this will be his third season in Jacksonville. Before the Marlins, he worked in the Texas Rangers organization (2003-06). He served as an athletic trainer in the World Baseball Classic for Team Puerto Rico in 2009 and 2013 and for Team Panama in 2006.
Reichert joins the Suns after spending the past three seasons as the strength and conditioning coach for the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Marlins organization. Reichert has been in the Marlins organization since 2012, and has also assisted players with Triple-A New Orleans and the rookie level Gulf Coast League Marlins. Reichert graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.
Lamb is in his first season in the Marlins organization. He spent last season as a minor league video assistant in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Lamb is a 2014 graduate of the University of Oregon.
ABOUT THE SUNS: A new era of affordable family fun will dawn on the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Opening Day, April 7, 2016, with the Jacksonville Suns under new ownership. The Suns have already unveiled a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, and you can get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxsuns.com.