Brewers Announce 2023 Mudcats Coaching Staff
ZEBULON, N.C. – The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that Victor Estevez will return as manager of the Carolina Mudcats for the 2023 season. Estevez leads a Carolina field staff that will include Pitching Coach Michael O’Neal, Hitting Coach J.J. Reimer, Bullpen Coach Jorge Ortega, Development Coach David Valdez, Athletic Trainer
ZEBULON, N.C. – The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that Victor Estevez will return as manager of the Carolina Mudcats for the 2023 season. Estevez leads a Carolina field staff that will include Pitching Coach Michael O’Neal, Hitting Coach J.J. Reimer, Bullpen Coach Jorge Ortega, Development Coach David Valdez, Athletic Trainer Myles Fish, and Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jonah Mergen.
Estevez, Ortega and Mergen are all returnees as they were with the Mudcats during the 2022 season. O’Neal, Reimer, Valdez, and Fish are all entering their first seasons in Carolina. Both O’Neal and Ortega, however, were pitchers with the Mudcats during the 2016 and 2018 seasons respectively.
Estevez, 34, is coming off a successful 2022 season in Carolina that saw his Mudcats go 69-62 while finishing second overall in the Carolina League North standings. The Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic born Estevez is entering his second straight season with the Mudcats and his 11th overall in the Brewers organization. He previously spent six seasons managing the Rookie level Dominican Summer League Brewers before his arrival with the Mudcats. Estevez also served two seasons as the organization’s Dominican Summer League field coordinator. A former infielder, Estevez played four seasons (2007-2010) of professional baseball in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. He is the cousin of Enrique Cruz, who played for the Brewers in 2003. Estevez earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Universidad del Caribe in 2020.
O’Neal, 30, comes to Carolina as pitching coach after working the 2022 season as a coach at Double-A Biloxi. Overall, the Columbus, Ga. native is entering his fourth season as a coach in the Milwaukee system. O’Neal was a development coach with High-A Wisconsin in 2021 and was additionally assigned to Carolina as a developmental coach ahead of the 2020 season. Before joining the Brewers, O'Neal was an assistant coach at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (2019-2020) and also worked as a pitching trainer for Driveline Baseball. He played collegiately at the University of Auburn.
Reimer, 29, enters his first year as hitting coach of the Mudcats after spending the 2022 season as a coach with Double-A Biloxi. From Dubuque, Iowa, Reimer additionally finished 2022 as a coach with Triple-A Nashville during the Sounds’ International League playoff run. Reimer played collegiately at Western Illinois and spent three seasons as an assistant coach of the Northern Iowa softball team before joining Biloxi last season.
Ortega, 29, takes over as Carolina’s bullpen coach after spending the 2022 season as a coach with the Mudcats. The Caracas, Venezuela born Ortega is in his fourth season as a coach with the Brewers and his second with Carolina.
Valdez, 47, enters his first year both with the Mudcats and within the Milwaukee organization. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native was a hitting coach with the State College Spikes of the MLB Draft League last season. He was also the head baseball coach at Bunker Hill (Mass.) Community College from 2017 through 2022.
Fish enters his first season as athletic trainer with the Mudcats and his second overall in the Milwaukee system. A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., Fish was most recently the assistant athletic trainer with the Sounds in 2022.
Mergen is in his seventh straight season as strength and conditioning specialist with the Mudcats. The 2022 season is additionally his 13th overall in the Milwaukee organization. A native of McFarland, Wis., Mergen has been with the Mudcats since Carolina became an affiliate of the Brewers in 2017.
Carolina's 2023 season is set to begin on Friday, April 7 with the season opener in Fayetteville against the Woodpeckers. The first home game of the 2023 schedule is set for Tuesday, April 11 against the Salem Red Sox at Five County Stadium.
Season ticket packages, mini plans, group options, as well as luxury suite packages and DRB Homes Sky Lounge reservations in the US Foods Club Level are all available now by visiting carolinamudcats.com, by calling (919) 269-2287, and by visiting the Five County Stadium front office in Zebulon.
The Carolina Mudcats are the officially licensed Class-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. First established in 1991, the Mudcats have provided affordable family fun for over 30 years at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. Follow the Mudcats online at www.carolinamudcats.com, and on social media at facebook.com/carolinamudcats, twitter.com/carolinamudcats, tiktok.com/@carolinamudcats and instagram.com/carolinamudcats.