The Charleston RiverDogs introduced new manager Julio Mosquera at their 14th Annual Hot Stove Dinner Friday evening at the Charleston Mariott. Although this will be his first year in Charleston, he’s very familiar with the area.
“I’m familiar with the area. I like it here a lot. I’ve been here many times. I think this is a great baseball town, a great city, great fans; I like the atmosphere. I’m excited to come over here and manage this team,” Mosquera said. “You come here, and there’s fans in the stands, that will drive you to have more success and drive you to have some fun out there which is the key to this game, have fun and still do your job.”
Mosquera managed the short-season Class A Staten Island Yankees to a 46-29 record, good for first place in their division and a playoff appearance. Mosquera figures to have a lot of that team with him with the RiverDogs in 2018.
“It helps when you know some of the players you had the year before and you have a relationship with them. And some of the new players from Pulaski, some guys from the draft last year that I don’t know. But I’ve been in the organization for a while, so I know a lot of the young guys that are coming up too. I’m pretty familiar with them, and I think it helps in the transition, but we’ll still have to go about our business and try to teach them the right ropes and try to teach the right things to do.”
The RiverDogs announced the rest of their coaching staff recently, and it includes pitching coach Justin Pope coming back for his third year with the RiverDogs.
Mosquera is excited to have him aboard, “He’s really, really, really good at what he does. We’ve been talking in Tampa; we’ve been down there at the complex for the last couple of weeks. There’s not much I can say about him. He does a really good job. He guided this team last year with a tremendous pitching staff. He did a really good job with a lot of his pitchers moving up which is what you want in the organization. I have full trust in him, and I think with his experience especially in this league too, it’s going to be an advantage for me as he’s been here for a couple of years. He knows the ropes in the league and with the experience he has and the success that he’s had.”
Scott Seabol has been tabbed as hitting coach for Charleston. Seabol and Mosquera were teammates in the Yankees system with the Norwich Navigators in 2001 and 2002.
“I know Scott; we played together back in the day at Norwich. He’s a type of guy; he’s very, very good at what he does. He loves this game, has a lot of fun. He’s a guy that brings a lot of experience. He’s got big league time and loves what he does which is the main thing I love about him. We’re pretty close; we were teammates. We have a relationship which is always good to build on,” Mosquera said.
Dan Fiorito joins the staff as the defensive coach, where he filled the same role for the Rookie-level Pulaski Yankees in 2017. Fiorito is another former Yankees farmhand and played in the system from 2013 through 2016.
“I know Dan from when he was playing. He played through our minor league system and had a good relationship with him. We had good talks, and he’s a baseball person. Loves baseball, loves teaching, loves learning. When he was playing, he was always asking the right questions which is an excellent thing. That’s one of the things when we saw him when he was coming into the coaching department, a guy that asks a lot of questions and wants to learn. And his experience in the diamond playing all the positions in the infield, I think it’s going to help our guys to have somebody that’s been in the Yankees organization, knows our system and has a good relationship with the players.”
Michael Sole returns for his second season as athletic trainer for the RiverDogs. Last season he was named South Atlantic League Athletic Trainer of the year. Danny Russo will take up Strength & Conditioning duties after filling the same role in Pulaski last season. Harris Seletsky returns to Charleston as clubhouse manager.
Mosquera is looking forward to working with his new staff and trying to bring home a championship to Charleston.
“We’re going to try and do our best, and we’re going to try to come over here and develop our players, to do our job in the field, work for the fans, work for the community. We’re huge in that too as the Yankees organization. I don’t want to promise anything, but our goal is always to bring a championship into the city because these guys work hard and do a good job organizing stuff for the team and they help the team out and they work all year along, so the only satisfaction we can give them as a team is to give them a championship at the end of the year.”