Special to the Herald
The Clinton LumberKings will have familiar faces leading the way in 2013 as the Seattle Mariners announced Eddie Menchaca will return as manager for the third season for the Clinton franchise as it enters its 77th year of baseball, and fifth as the Mariners’ Class A affiliate.
Menchaca led the LumberKings to a 71-67 record in 2012, including a 48-22 mark in the second half to lock down a playoff spot. The 48 wins represented the most wins in a half in franchise history. The LumberKings went on to win consecutive road games to defeat Beloit in the first round of the playoffs but lost to the eventual MWL-Champion Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the West Division Finals.
Menchaca has amassed 128 wins as Clinton manager which ranks 11th on the all-time list. Jack Mull, who won the 1991 Midwest League championship, tops the list with 300 career managerial wins in Clinton.
Andrew Lorraine returns as pitching coach after serving the same role in 2012. Led by Lorraine, Clinton’s team ERA in 2012 was 3.71, and the team issued the second-fewest walks in the Midwest League. The left-hander pitched in Major League Baseball for six years, including a stint with the Mariners in 1998.
Mike Kinkade will begin his third season in the Mariners organization and his first with Clinton. Previously, Kinkade was a coach for Everett in 2011 and then manager for the AZL Mariners in 2012, where he led the team to a 31-25 record. Kinkade spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues from 1998 through 2008, including stints with the Mets, Orioles and Dodgers.
Jeff Kahn will serve as the athletic trainer for the LumberKings. Last year was Kahn’s first season as a trainer in the Mariners minor league system. After graduating from Xavier University in 2006 with a Bachelors of Science in athletic training, Kahn received his Masters of Arts in kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2009.
Rounding out Menchaca’s staff is performance specialist Ryan White, who enters his first season with the LumberKings.
Clinton opens the 2013 season on the road April 4, against Burlington. The home opener is set for Thursday, April 11, as Clinton hosts Cedar Rapids.