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SALT LAKE CITY (November 30, 2007) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Director of Player Development, Abe Flores, announced today that Bobby Mitchell, Jim Eppard and Erik Bennett will make up the 2008 Salt Lake Bees coaching staff. Armando Rivas will return as athletic trainer and Andrew Emmick joins the Bees as strength and conditioning coach.
"We're excited about the field staff the Angels are providing for us in Salt Lake. The Angels are well known for having a tremendous minor league organization and providing great players for us as well as a strong personnel. We've known Bobby Mitchell from his days as a roving instructor and have a good relationship with him. The Angels always put together a good group and we look forward to that tradition continuing," commented Bees General Manager Marc Amicone.
Mitchell enters his first season as manager of Salt Lake after spending the last two seasons at single-A Rancho Cucamonga. During his time with the Quakes, Mitchell led the team to a 132-148 record. Prior to his first two seasons as a minor league manager, Mitchell spent 14 seasons as a roving minor league instructor. He first joined the Angels organization in 2003 after spending time working for the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres.
Mitchell was originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 amateur draft and went on to play four seasons in Major League Baseball with the Dodgers and Minnesota Twins, hitting .243 over 202 games. Mitchell attended the University of Southern California and played under legendary baseball coach Rod Dedeaux.
"I'm anxious to actually come to Salt Lake. I'm really looking forward to it. I was born there so it's like coming home. I love the place. I look forward to the challenges and the team there. We have some great kids and a good coaching staff," said Mitchell.
Eppard returns to Salt Lake for his fifth season as the team's hitting coach. Prior to joining the Angels organization, Eppard was the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies triple-A affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Eppard played professional baseball for 12 years, including four seasons with the California Angels and Toronto Blue Jays. He also won minor league batting titles in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1990.
Bennett, entering his 13th season with the Angels organization, joins the Bees after spending the 2007 season as pitching coach at double-A Arkansas. Prior to that, he was the pitching coach for single-A Cedar Rapids and Rancho Cucamonga. Over a 10-year career, Bennett put together a 49-48 minor league record with a 4.03 ERA in 226 appearances. He pitched in 17 games for Salt Lake in 1996, owning a 3-1 record and 6.38 ERA. Drafted by the Angels in 1989, Bennett played two major league seasons for the Angels and the Minnesota Twins. A native of Yreka, Calif., he played in 25 games and had a 2-0 major league career record.
Rivas also returns to the Bees for his third season as the team's trainer. Rivas came to Salt Lake after spending the previous two seasons with the Angels' double and single-A affiliates, the Arkansas Travelers and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Prior to joining the Angels, Rivas worked as a trainer at UCLA, focusing on men's soccer and baseball. Rivas earned bachelor's degree in athletic training from Cal State Fullerton and a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology.
Emmick, a former Brescia University (Ky.) baseball player, begins his first season as strength and conditioning coach for the Salt Lake Bees. Emmick spent part of the 2007 season with the rookie league Tempe Angels and the full 2006 season with single-A Cedar Rapids. Emmick received a bachelor's degree in business from Brescia and also has a Master of Science degree in sports science. He is CSCS certified.
Salt Lake Bees' season tickets are on sale now, starting as low as $7 per game. Fans can also purchase holiday packs for only $49 thru the end of January by calling (801) 325-BEES or by visiting slbees.com.