The Daytona Tortugas coaching staff for the upcoming season has been announced. Manager Julio Morillo is returning for the same job that he had last season. He’ll be joined by pitching coach Willie Blair, hitting coach Nate Irving, and coaches Lenny Harris and Osmin Melendez.
Morillo is now in his 5th season with the Reds as a part of the player development staff. He played in Cincinnati’s farm system from 2010 through 2015, reaching Triple-A that season. In 2016 he joined the Reds big league club as a baseball operations assistant and also served as the Spanish language translator for the team before moving into a coaching role in 2021 when he served as the Arizona Complex League development coach. In 2022 he was the ACL Reds manager before taking the same job in Daytona last year. In his two seasons as a manager, Morillo is 88-91.
Also returning to the staff is pitching coach Willie Blair. It is his second season with the Reds organization as well as Daytona’s pitching coach. Prior to joining the Cincinnati organization he was with the Detroit Tigers organization for six seasons. Before that he worked with the San Diego Padres as a bullpen coach and a pitching coach within their farm system. Blair pitched in the big leagues in parts of 12 seasons from 1990-2001. He worked as both a reliever and a starter during his time in the majors.
Nate Irving will be joining the Tortugas staff in 2024 as a hitting coach. He has been with the organization for six years. The 2024 season will be his third season in player development – he was working with the big league staff for three years prior to that. In 2023 he was the hitting coach for the Arizona Complex League Reds. Back in 2022 he was with Chattanooga where he served as the game planning and catching coach. As a player he was a 34th round pick of Arizona out of the University of Virginia in 2014 and played for the Diamondbacks organization in 2014 and 2015 before playing three years of indy ball.
Lenny Harris is back in Daytona for the fourth time, and for his third year in a row. He was the bench coach in 2019 before returning for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The 2024 campaign will be his eighth season in Reds player development. Prior to joining Cincinnati as a coach he worked for the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Washington Nationals in a variety of coaching roles. As a player he spent parts of 18 seasons in Major League Baseball – including seven years with the Reds.
Osmin Melendez is a newcomer to Daytona after serving as a coach with Dayton in 2023 – his first year with the Reds organization. Prior to joining the Reds he worked in player development for both the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in a variety of roles. As a player he spent two years in the Baltimore Orioles farm system.