Clippers announce 36-year-old Mansolino as new skipper

New Columbus Clippers manager Tony Mansolino (Courtesy Columbus Clippers)

The Columbus Clippers and the Cleveland Indians announced the Clippers new manager and coaching staff for the 2019 season.

The Clippers new manager is Tony Mansolino, 36. This will be Mansolino’s fourth season as a manager in Cleveland’s farm system. The Newport Beach native managed the Lake County Captains of Class A to a 72-68 record in 2016, and then Lynchburg Hillcats of Advanced A to the Carolina League Championship with an 87-52 season in 2017. Tony was named the Manager of the Year in 2017.

Last season, Mansolino managed the Double-A Akron RubberDucks to a second-place finish in the Eastern League with a 78-62 record.

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“This 2019 season will mark the biggest change we have ever had in our on-field staff. While all but one of them will be new to Columbus, we are looking forward to having them join us and guide our players through this upcoming season," said Clippers President & GM Ken Schnacke.

This is Mansolino's ninth season in the Indians organization. He spent his first five seasons as a hitting coach in Cleveland’s farm system before becoming a manager.

Mansolino played professionally in the minors for six seasons as an infielder after being drafted by the Pirates in the 2005 draft out of Vanderbilt University.

Mansolino is the 22nd Clippers manager.

The Clippers new pitching coach is Rigo Beltran, 49. The southpaw was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals organization in the 1991 free agent draft. He had a 16 year professional career appearing for parts of five seasons with the Cardinals (1997), the Mets (1998-99), the Rockies (1999-2000) and the Expos (2004).

Andy Tracy, 45, is the new Clippers hitting coach. Born and raised in Bowling Green, Ohio, Andy is also an alumnus of Bowling Green State University.

Tracy was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the sixteenth round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Free Agent Draft, and the first baseman/third baseman played professional baseball for 16 seasons. Andy made his Major League debut with the Expos on April 25, 2000. He played in the Major Leagues with the Expos (2000-01), Rockies (2004), and the Phillies (2008-09).

Kyle Hudson, 32, is the Clippers new bench coach. Hudson begins his third season in the Cleveland Indians organization and his first in Columbus. Kyle made his professional coaching debut in 2017 as the bench coach for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League. Last season he was the bench coach for the Lake County Captains (A).

Jeremy Heller will replace Clippers longtime trainer Chad Wolfe this season. Heller was Akron’s trainer the past five seasons. He has been in the Indians organization for 15 seasons. Heller was named the 2017 Eastern League Athletic Trainer of the Year by Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) He was also the Athletic Trainer of the Year in the Carolina League in 2012.

Scott Nealon, 30, will be back as the Clippers strength and conditioning coach for a third season. This is Scott’s seventh year in the Indians organization. He previously spent time in Akron (2016), Lynchburg (2015), and Carolina (2013-14). Nealon earned his Masters degree in exercise from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland).