11/16/2006 3:16 PM ET
Former Cubs highlight organizational newcomers
The Chicago Cubs have added former Cubs Bob Dernier, Mike Harkey and Steve Wilson to the organization, as well as former Cubs farmhand Casey Kopitzke and former Major Leaguer Dennis Lewallyn.
Dernier, who played with Chicago from 1984-1987, is the Cubs new minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator. His strongest season with the Cubs came in 1987 when the outfielder hit a career-best .317, including a .370 average at the All-Star break, while committing just one error in 72 games manning the outfield. His 119 stolen bases rank 25th in Cubs franchise history. Recently, Dernier has worked with several other ex-Cubs including Steve Trout and Amos Otis to conduct baseball camps for children.
Harkey, who pitched with the Cubs in parts of five seasons from 1988-1993, will take over as Triple-A Iowa's new pitching coach. The right-hander amassed a 26-21 record and a 3.92 ERA (184 ER/422.1 IP) in 71 starts for Chicago. His best season with the Cubs came in 1990 when he went 12-6 with two complete games and a 3.26 ERA (63 ER/173.2 IP) in 27 starts. Most recently, Harkey was the Florida Marlins Major League bullpen coach in 2006 after serving as a minor league pitching coach in the San Diego Padres farm system from 2000-2005.
Wilson, who was a reliever with the Cubs from 1989-1991, has been named the organization's Pacific Rim Scout. The Victoria, B.C., native was 10-13 with three saves and a 4.56 ERA (120 ER/237.0 IP) in 106 games (23 starts) for Chicago before ending his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1991-1993. Wilson, who has lived in Taiwan for the last 10 years, spent the last two seasons as a part-time scout in Asia for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kopitzke is the organization's new minor league catching coordinator after spending eight seasons in the Cubs minor league system. Originally selected by Chicago in the 27th round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Kopitzke compiled a .230 career minor league batting average (339-for-1,473) with 44 doubles and 122 RBI in 495 career games. He batted .239 with Triple-A Iowa in 2006.
Lewallyn joins the Cubs organization as Double-A Tennessee's pitching coach after spending the last 12 seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league operation. He played eight seasons in the Majors, compiling a 4-4 record with a save and a 4.48 ERA (40 ER/80.1 IP) in 34 games (three starts) with the Dodgers (1975-1979), Texas (1980) and Cleveland (1981-1982). Lewallyn was most recently Arizona's minor league pitching coordinator in 2005-2006, a position he also held from 2002 to July of 2004 before he was promoted to the Diamondbacks as their bullpen coach.
Chicago's minor league coordinators are headed by Dave Bialas , who will handle minor league field coordinator responsibilities for the fifth straight year. In addition, Alan Dunn will begin his 15th season with the organization and takes over as pitching coordinator after serving as Triple-A Iowa's pitching coach last season. Dave Keller will handle hitting coordinator duties for the fourth straight season while Bobby Dickerson enters his second year as the organization's infield and bunting coordinator. Julio Garcia is the Cubs Latin American field coordinator, a position he has held since 2005.
The complete list of minor league managerial and coaching staff assignments will be announced later this month.
Here's a rundown of the Cubs 2007 minor league instructors:
Minor League Field Coordinator: Dave Bialas
Pitching Coordinator: Alan Dunn
Hitting Coordinator: Dave Keller
Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator: Bob Dernier
Infield/Bunting Coordinator: Bobby Dickerson
Catching Coordinator: Casey Kopitzke
Latin American Field Coordinator: Julio Garcia