Eddie “Scooter” Tucker will return to Five County Stadium as the manager of the Carolina Mudcats in 2014, the Cleveland Indians have announced. Tucker made his coaching debut in 2012 as hitting coach for the Mudcats under Edwin Rodriguez.
Joining Tucker will be pitching coach Steve Karsay, hitting coach Tony Mansolino and trainer Bobby Ruiz. Strength and conditioning coach Scott Nealon is the only returning member of the 2013 staff.
Tucker, 47, takes the reins in Zebulon after serving as manager of the Lake County Captains in 2013. This season marks only his third as a professional coach. His career began in 1988, when the San Francisco Giants drafted him out of Delta State University. He made his Major League debut with the Houston Astros in 1992 and spent three seasons in the big leagues.
Since his retirement in 1996, Tucker has worked in the private sector and scouted for the New York Mets in 2010 and 2011.
The former Major League catcher is ready to get started.
“I’m extremely excited. I enjoyed my time so much there as hitting coach,” Tucker said in a statement released by the Mudcats. “From the players and coaches, fans, everything was great. I’m really looking forward to getting to manage in Carolina.”
Tucker becomes the third different manager to lead the Mudcats under the Indians affiliation, but brings an approach to managing young players similar to Rodriguez and 2013 skipper David Wallace.
“I am constantly encouraging them, presenting different ideas and ways to do things, and challenging them to grow,” the Greenville, Miss., native said. “I don’t mind them making mistakes. I view that as a great opportunity to teach.”
Karsay, Mansolino and Ruiz will follow Tucker to Zebulon from Lake County, keeping the majority of his staff intact.
Karsay, a first round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1990, spent 11 years in the Majors. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1998-2001.
Mansolino was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 and spent six seasons in the Minors. He is the son of Doug Mansolino, the minor league infield coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Indians promoted Wallace to manage Double-A Akron. His staff will also remain largely intact as pitching coach Jeff Harris, hitting coach Rouglas Odor and trainer Jeremy Heller will join him for the Rubber Duck’s inaugural season.
The Mudcats will host the Potomac Nationals on April 4 at Five County Stadium to begin the 2014 season.