(AKRON, OHIO) January 13, 2022 – The Cleveland Guardians announced their 2022 Player Development staff assignments, returning five members of the 2021 Double-A Northeast championship coaching staff to Akron. Rouglas Odor will return for his third season as the RubberDucks manager. Joining Odor in 2022 will be Owen Dew as
(AKRON, OHIO) January 13, 2022 – The Cleveland Guardians announced their 2022 Player Development staff assignments, returning five members of the 2021 Double-A Northeast championship coaching staff to Akron. Rouglas Odor will return for his third season as the RubberDucks manager. Joining Odor in 2022 will be Owen Dew as pitching coach, Junior Betances as hitting coach, Mike Mergenthaler as assistant hitting coach, Juan De La Cruz as bench coach, Jacob Legan as athletic trainer and Tyler Grisdale as strength and conditioning coach.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rougie back to Akron for another season at the helm of the RubberDucks,” RubberDucks General Manager and COO Jim Pfander said. “It is exciting to bring back so many members of the staff that helped bring a sixth championship to Akron last summer. I can’t wait to see this staff and the players take the field at Canal Park in 89 days.”
Manager Rouglas Odor enters his 35th season with the Guardians organization as a player, coach and manager. The 2022 season will be Odor’s third as RubberDucks manager (tying him with Joel Skinner, Dave Wallace and Brad Komminsk for most seasons as Akron’s manager). In 2021, Odor was named Double-A Northeast Manager of the Year after leading Akron to the Double-A Northeast championship and a 73-46 record. He also guided the RubberDucks to a 61-79 record in 2019. Odor has a career record of 495-488 as a manager.
“I’m glad to be back in Akron again with a great group of people, including the players, coaching staff and front office,” Odor said. “It’s such a great town, with a great ballpark, great fans and solid atmosphere to play games.”
Odor was the first member of the Guardians organization to be a member of the Canton-Akron Indians, Akron Aeros and RubberDucks. He was an infielder for Canton-Akron for parts of the 1991, 1993 and 1994 seasons. Odor served as the Aeros hitting coach in 2012 and served as the RubberDucks hitting coach in 2014.
A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Odor was a 32nd round selection by Cleveland in the 1988 draft out of the University of New Orleans.
Pitching Coach Owen Dew enters his sixth season in the Guardians organization and second as RubberDucks pitching coach. In 2021, Dew led the Akron pitching staff to a 3.78 ERA (second best in the Double-A Northeast) and a franchise record 1,190 strikeouts. Prior to coming to Akron, Dew was the pitching coach for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2017, AZL Indians in 2018 and Lake County in 2019.
Dew was a 21st round selection by Cleveland in 2010 out of the University of Central Florida. He spent parts of three seasons in the Cleveland organization, logging 58 appearances and 152.1 innings.
Hitting Coach Junior Betances enters his 25th season with the Guardians organization as a player, coach or executive and second as the hitting coach for the RubberDucks. In 2021, Betances guided the RubberDucks hitters to a .254 average (third best in the Double-A Northeast) with 116 home runs and 577 RBI (second best in the Double-A Northeast).
Betances came to Cleveland via the 1996 Rule 5 draft after spending six seasons in the Brewers organization. He batted .289 over 165 games in 1998 and 1999 for the Akron Aeros.
Assistant Hitting Coach Mike Mergenthaler enters his sixth year with the Guardians organization and second season with Akron. Mergenthaler spent 2021 as the bench coach for the RubberDucks. Prior to coming to Akron, Mergenthaler was the bench coach with Lynchburg in 2019.
Bench Coach Juan De La Cruz enters his fourth season with the Guardians organization and second season with Akron, where he was the bench coach in 2019. De La Cruz spent 2021 as the bench coach for Low-A Lynchburg.
De La Cruz was signed by Cleveland in 2009 and played eight seasons in the organization. De La Cruz appeared in 12 games for the RubberDucks in 2017.
Athletic Trainer Jacob Legan enters his ninth season in the Guardians organization and second season in Akron. Prior to coming to Akron, Legan served as the athletic trainer for Lynchburg in 2019. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from East Carolina and his master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Akron.
Strength and Conditioning Coach Tyler Grisdale enters his first season with the Guardians and first season in Akron. Prior to coming to the organization, Grisdale spent two years in the Miami Marlins organization and four years working in the Colorado Rockies organization including as the Physical Performance Coach for the Spokane Indians (Colorado’s High-A affiliate) in 2021.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians. The RubberDucks season is powered by FirstEnergy at Canal Park, with the home opener April 12, 2022, against the Reading Fightin Phils at 7:05 PM. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 330-253-5151 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, or visit akronrubberducks.com/. For more information about the team, please call 330-253-5151, visit the website at akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, or on Twitter @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram @akronrubberducks.