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Phillies Announce IronPigs Coaching Staff for 2023 Season

January 31, 2023

Full Coaching Staff has been announced for the 2023 season. Allentown, Pennsylvania (31 January 2023) – The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Phillies, have announced their coaching staff for the 2023 season. Anthony Contreras (Manager), Joe Thurston (Hitting Coach), Cesar Ramos (Pitching Coach), and Mike Lidge (Strength

Full Coaching Staff has been announced for the 2023 season.

Allentown, Pennsylvania (31 January 2023) – The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Phillies, have announced their coaching staff for the 2023 season.

Anthony Contreras (Manager), Joe Thurston (Hitting Coach), Cesar Ramos (Pitching Coach), and Mike Lidge (Strength & Conditioning Coach) return for another season, while they welcome newcomers Pat Listach (Bench Coach), Ryan Buchter (Assistant Pitching Coach), Andrew Dodgson (Athletic Trainer), and Makenna Behrens (Assistant Athletic Trainer).

Anthony Contreras, Manager

Contreras will enter his second season as manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. During his first season as skipper, Contreras guided the team to a 76-72 record, the team’s first winning season since 2018. Contreras saw ten of his players receive promotion to the major leagues for the first time in their careers and 23 players in total get promoted to Philadelphia throughout the 2022 season. The Los Gatos, California native spent the previous seven seasons as a manager within the San Diego Padres minor league system prior to his arrival in 2022. His professional playing career launched after he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the ninth round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from San Jose State University. An infielder, Contreras spent his first three seasons in the Giants system and his final six as a San Diego farmhand – advancing up to Triple-A Portland (2010) and Tucson (2011-13). He finished his playing career with a .257 batting average, 177 doubles, 22 home runs, and 281 RBIs in 729 games.

Pat Listach, Bench Coach

Listach will begin his first season as bench coach with the IronPigs after serving in the same post for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (A+) in 2022. Prior to his arrival to the Phillies organization in 2022, Listach spent two seasons managing Monclova in the Mexican League. The former big-leaguer spent four seasons in the Seattle Mariners organizations as the manager of the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA) from 2015-18. Listach began his coaching career in the Chicago Cuts system, managing at West Tennessee (AA) and Tennessee (AA) in 2006 and 2007 before being assigned to Triple-A Iowa in 2008, where he was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. Listach coached at the major league level in 2009 with the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs in 2011 and 2012. He was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ minor league infield coordinator in 2013 before joining the Houston Astros in 2014 as their first base coach. Listach spent six seasons in the major leagues with Milwaukee (1992-96) and Houston (1997). He was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1992.

Joe Thurston, Hitting Coach

Thurston returns for his second season as hitting coach for the IronPigs. The Fairfield, California native played for the Phillies during the 2006 season and spent time in the minor leagues during the 2007 and 2012 seasons. He played for the IronPigs during the 2012 season. Previously, Thurston spent four seasons with the Seattle Mariners organization. During the 2021 season, he was the hitting coach for the Arkansas Travelers (AA) after spending the 2020 season as the Mariners first base coach. He spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons as a hitting coach with Modesto (A) and the 2019 season with Everett (A). Prior to joining the Mariners organization, Thurston began his career as a professional coach with Billings in the Cincinnati Reds organization. His 16-year (1999-2015) playing career spanned parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Marlins.

Cesar Ramos, Pitching Coach

The former major-league pitcher enters his second season as pitching coach for the IronPigs. Ramos spent two seasons as a Player Information Assistant for the Phillies prior to his post as pitching coach for the IronPigs in 2022. His 13-year (2005-2017) playing career spanned parts of eight seasons in the big leagues with San Diego, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (AL), and Texas. Ramos spent the 2017 season with the IronPigs, as he pitched to a 5-4 record with a 4.00 ERA in 40 games (11 starts). He struck out 74 batters in 92 1/3 innings pitched with just 31 walks issued.

Ryan Buchter, Assistant Pitching Coach

Buchter will begin his first coaching post at the professional level after a seven-year career pitching at the major league level. Buchter pitched for six different teams during his time in the major leagues. He pitched two seasons for San Diego and Oakland, while pitching one season each with Arizona, Kansas City, Los Angeles (AL), and Atlanta, where he made his major league debut in 2014. Buchter spent 14 seasons in the minor leagues, where he pitched for nine different organizations. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 33rd Round of the 2005 MLB Draft from Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, New Jersey. He elected to attend Gloucester County College in 2006 before signing with Washington.

Andrew Dodgson, Athletic Trainer

Dodgson enters his sixth season as an athletic trainer in the Phillies organization and first season with the IronPigs. The Chattanooga, Tennessee native spent the 2022 season as an athletic trainer for the Reading Fightin Phils (AA) after spending the two previous seasons with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (A+). Dodgson’s first two seasons with the Phillies organization was in 2018 and 2019 with the Gulf Coast League Phillies (Rk). He has degrees in athletic training from the University of South Florida and sports management from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Makenna Behrens, Assistant Athletic Trainer

Behrens will begin her first season with the IronPigs and the Philadelphia Phillies. She served as an athletic trainer at the University of Tennessee in 2021. Behrens earned her master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Idaho.

Mike Lidge, Strength & Conditioning Coach

Lidge enters his fourth season with the IronPigs. He served as the IronPigs Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2019, 2021, and 2022. The 2023 season will be Lidge’s seventh season with the Philadelphia Phillies organization after spending four years (2013-16) with the San Francisco Giants’ organization. Lidge served as the Strength and Conditioning Coach with Reading (AA, 2018) and Clearwater (A, 2017). He has a Master of Science in Exercise Science and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Northeastern Illinois University. Lidge is the cousin of former Phillies relief pitcher Brad Lidge, and his younger brother Ryan was selected in the 20th round of the June 2017 draft by the New York Yankees.

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The IronPigs are presented by Capital BlueCross.