The Staten Island Yankees will have a new manager at the helm for the 2018 season as 2017 manager Julio Mosquera was promoted to Charleston. This coming season the Baby Bombers will be lead by Lino Diaz who spent last season as the Defensive Coach of the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
Diaz, 47, has been with the Yankees organization since 2015 and spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons as the Defensive Coach for the Gulf Coast League Yankees. Prior to joining the Yankees, he the manager of cultural development for the Chicago White Sox from 2013-2014 where he was a member of the dugout staff. He spent 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians where he served in various roles such as cultural development coordinator, director of Latin American operations, and assistant farm director.
This will not be his first time managing as in 2001 he managed the Gulf Coast League Royals, leading them to a 20-40 record. He began his coaching career in the Cincinnati Reds organization as a coach with the Indianapolis Indians in 1998 and with the GCL Reds from 1999-2001.
Diaz was a 30th round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in the 1993 First-Year-Player Draft and played five seasons in the minors, including parts of three seasons in Double-A. In 504 minor league games, he hit .294/.352/.403 with 98 doubles, 13 triples, and 21 home runs.
Joining Diaz this season as hitting coach is Ken Joyce. Joyce spent the 2017 season as the hitting coach for the Charleston RiverDogs and Gulf Coast League Yankees. Prior to joining the Yankees, he spent seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants where he was the hitting coach for the Richmond Flying Squirrels for six seasons and the Fresno Grizzlies for one season. He also served as the hitting coach of the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League in 2011.
Joyce spent eight seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays organization where he managed for the Charleston Alley Cats (2004) and Lansing Lugnuts (2005-2006) and was the hitting coach for the Medicine Hat Rockies, New Haven Ravens, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Las Vegas 51s. His coaching career began with the Marlins organization in 1994, serving as the bullpen coach for the Portland Sea Dogs for the 1994 and 1995 seasons. He went on to become the hitting coach for Portland in 1996 and the Utica Blue Sox in 1997. In 1998 he took over as manager of the Blue Sox, a post he held for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. He also spent two seasons coaching in the independent leagues in 2000 and 2001.
The only returning coach for the Staten Island Yankees is Pitching Coach Travis Phelps. Phelps is entering his third season with Staten Island. He led the Yankees pitching staff to a combined 2.82 ERA and 644 strikeouts, good for third in the league in both categories in 2016. His 2017 pitching staff faired even better, leading the NY-Penn League with a 2.64 combined ERA, 11 shutouts, 28 saves, and a 1.10 WHIP. The 2017 Staten Island Yankees were second in strikeouts with 702, and they allowed the least amount of hits out of any team in the league with 499.