Amarillo Sod Poodles announce on-field staff for the 2023 season


The Amarillo Sod Poodles, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, announced the full on-field staff for the 2023 season, highlighted by the return of Shawn Roof as Manager. Roof enters his third season at the helm of the club after a 68-69 record in 2022 and a third-place finish in the Texas League South Division. Joining the staff in Amarillo will be pitching coach Tom Gorzelanny, hitting coach Terrmel Sledge, coach Javier Colina, athletic trainer Chris Mudd, and strength & conditioning coach Mitchell Ho. Combined, the staff has more than 26 years of professional coaching experience and 40-plus years of playing experience at either the minor or Major-League level.

Roof, 38, enters his seventh season as a manager in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and his eighth overall as a coach in the system. A two-time Manager of the Year, the Louisville, Ken. native has compiled a career managerial record of 302-243, going 127-130 in his previous two seasons with Amarillo. Under his leadership in 2022, Amarillo finished Top-5 among all Double-A clubs in team batting average (1st, .277), runs scored (2nd, 832), and home runs (4th, 179). The 179 home runs set a new franchise record for Amarillo. The Sod Poodles also had a stretch of 84 consecutive error-free innings during the 2022 season. After being selected in the 33rd round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers, Roof played six minor league seasons in total.

“It’s an honor to be named the Sod Poodles manager for another year,” said Roof. “The past two summers have been an amazing experience for me and my family, and I am very excited to spend another summer in Amarillo. We have a tremendous staff with a wealth of experience, knowledge, energy, and passion for the game, and I can’t wait to work with them. This group will help prepare the next great D-backs of the future. Amarillo is a very welcoming community, and our players are extremely lucky to not only play in one of the best ballparks in the minor leagues but to also get to play in front of the best fans. The community will love the team that will be here this summer and I know we will work extremely hard to make the fans proud. 2023 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to put on the Sod Poodles jersey again. Go Soddies.”

Gorzelanny, 40, begins his second season as a pitching coach in the D-backs organization and first at the Double-A level. Gorzelanny (pronounced gore-ze-LAHN-ee) spent the 2022 season as a pitching coach for the Arizona Complex League D-backs. He had a 12-year MLB career, compiling a 50-53 record with a 4.40 ERA in 314 games and 121 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland before retiring in 2017. Prior to joining the D-backs player development staff, the Evergreen Park, Ill. native helped coach the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2019-2022 seasons. He served as the volunteer assistant and pitching coach in 2019 before transitioning to the program’s Director of Player Development.

Sledge, 45, will spend his first year coaching in the D-backs organization in 2023 as the Sod Poodles’ hitting coach. The Fayetteville, N.C. native played four years in the big leagues from 2004-2007 with the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres. Nicknamed the Sledgehammer, he was a career .247 hitter in the bigs with 291 games played. Sledge hit the first home run in Washington Nationals history on April 4, 2005, and also recorded the last RBI in Montreal Expos franchise history. His previous professional coaching experience includes stops with the Eugene Emeralds in 2015 as the assistant hitting coach, then spending three seasons as a hitting coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. He served as the Tulsa Drillers’ hitting coach for three seasons from 2016-18 before becoming the assistant hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs for two seasons.

Colina, 43, returns for his second stint in Amarillo and his 10th year as a coach in the D-backs organization. The Venezuela native served as the fourth coach for part of the 2022 season with the Sod Poodles. Colina brings a plethora of experience, serving as a manager for Low-A Visalia in 2021 prior to joining Roof’s staff in 2022. In 2019, he guided Hillsboro to the Northwest League Championship as the team’s manager and was slated to return in 2020 before the minor league season was ultimately canceled. Colina played 15 professional seasons from 1998-2012 with the Rockies, Cardinals, Reds, and White Sox as an infielder.

Ho enters his second season as a minor league strength coach for the D-backs, and his third overall after spending the 2021 season in the same role for the Minnesota Twins. The Western Michigan University graduate served as the strength coach for the ACL D-backs in 2021. Upon earning his degree, Ho served as the Strength & Conditioning Intern for Cal State Fullerton in 2017 before becoming the strength coach for Dynamic Athletics in Anaheim, Calif. in late 2017. He then became the Director of Strength and Performance for 108 Performance Academy in California before joining the professional ranks.

Mudd begins his second season with the Diamondbacks after serving as the athletic trainer for the ACL D-backs in 2022. He joined the D-backs with more than 16 years of experience as a trainer at the professional level with previous stops with the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. Mudd served as the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Phillies from 2014-19 after 10 years with the organization as a minor league trainer. In December 2019, he joined the Marlins as their Assistant Athletic Trainer for the 2020 and 2021 Major League seasons. He earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science and athletic training from Western Kentucky before going on to get his master’s degree in sports medicine health care from the University of Alabama.

The Sod Poodles open the 2023 season against the Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers) on Thursday, April 6, in Frisco before returning to Amarillo for the home opener on Tuesday, April 11 against the Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros).

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