Charleston announces 2024 coaching staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (December 15, 2023) – While past, present and future Charleston Dirty Birds fans are preparing for the holiday season, Dirty Birds manager PJ Phillips is busy preparing for the 2024 baseball season. He’s assembling his coaching staff, which will include an award-winning pitching coach and a long-time confidante as bench coach.  

When the 2024 Atlantic League season begins in April, Phillips will be joined by former Major League pitcher and Frontier League Coach of the Year Rob Carson as the team’s pitching coach and bench coach Cip Garza, who has served in that role alongside Phillips since the summer of 2020 after three years as a player-manager in the Pecos League.

“Cip’s loyalty, connection to players and his passion for the game are undeniable and the reasons we have been successful working together,” Phillips explained. “Rob’s work ethic and his way of getting his message across to pitchers made it an easy decision to hire him to be our pitching coach. You don’t receive a Coach of the Year Award unless you know what you’re doing.”  

Carson pitched for the New York Mets in 2012 and 2013 as part of a 14-year professional playing career that concluded with an Atlantic League championship ring as a key part of the 2021 Lexington Legends’ pitching staff.  In 2022, he transitioned to serving as pitching coach for the Frontier League champion Quebec Capitales, whose pitching staff registered the most games won, the fewest runs given up and the best ERA. Colleagues throughout the league recognized Carson’s leadership and named him the Frontier League’s Coach of the Year.

“I am beyond humbled to be coming to the city of Charleston to lead the avengers pitching staff for your Charleston Dirty Birds, and I’m bringing positive championship vibes only with me,” Carson said.  “You all are in for treat from our pitchers, attacking the strike zone with our best stuff, pitching to contact and not shying away from competing.”

Garza guided Pecos League teams as a player-manager from 2017 through 2019, when he led the Monterrey Amberjacks to a second-place finish and post-season action. He joined P.J. Phillips in Lexington in 2020’s Battle of the Bourbon Trail as other leagues had shut down because of Covid-19. Garza also worked as Phillips’ bench coach for the Lexington Legends during the team’s 2021 championship season plus 2022 before serving in that same role this year with the New Jersey Jackals. He was selected as a coach for the Frontier League All-Star Game this past summer, as the Jackals were building a 60-35 record, tied for the best in the league and the second-best record in franchise history.

“I am excited and looking forward to working with PJ, Rob and the entire Dirty Birds organization this upcoming season. In the past, we’ve had a lot of success, and I know we will bring a lot of fun and excitement to Charleston,” Garza said.

“I won a ring with PJ, Rob, and Cip in 2021.  I have every reason to believe that can and will happen again,” said Dirty Birds owner and CEO Andy Shea, who owned and operated the Lexington Legends in 2021.

“Building a strong, championship team to bring new levels of excitement, fan engagement, and leadership is a top priority for the Dirty Birds,” said the team’s general manager Ben Blum. “We look forward to working with PJ, Cip, and Rob with their proven successes of developing and leading professional baseball teams.”

The Charleston Dirty Birds are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Now in its 26th season, the Atlantic League is Major League Baseball’s first Professional Partner League, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,200 players to MLB organizations while drawing over 46 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks throughout its 25-year history. Please visit


Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015