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Legends name Zaun as manager; Rhodes as pitching coach

LEXINGTON, KY – Players aiming to reach the major leagues will have first-hand experience to draw inspiration from with a combined 35+ seasons of big league-playing experience between the Lexington Legends new manager Gregg Zaun and pitching coach Arthur Rhodes. Teammates with the Orioles in the 1990’s, this former pitcher-catcher combo will lead the on-field responsibilities along with coaches Kevin Castleberry and Mikey Reynolds.

 

A former catcher, Zaun played for nine teams over 16 big league seasons from 1995 to 2010 in more than 1.200 games. An original draft pick of the Orioles, Baltimore traded the native Californian to the Marlins in August of 1996 setting the switch-hitter up to earn a World Series ring in 1997 when he batted a career-best .301 over 58 games. Zaun, 52, served as the bench coach for the Glacier Range Riders (Kalispell, MT) of the Pioneer League in 2023.

 

“We are fired up to bring back the glory days of Lexington professional baseball with winning baseball,” remarked Manager Zaun, the nephew of 1983 World Series MVP Rick Dempsey. “Our club will play an exciting style of baseball in the premier MLB Partner League. We look forward to our fans giving us the hometown edge to bring the Atlantic League pennant to Kentucky.”

 

Lexington’s skipper Zaun first played with his pitching coach Arthur Rhodes when they both toiled in the Orioles farm system for the Rochester Red Wings (AAA) in 1993. The lefthanded Rhodes and Zaun spent parts of two seasons together in Baltimore in 1995 & 1996. The Waco, Texas product amassed 900 pitching appearances over 20 MLB seasons and matched his manager with a World Series Championship as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. Central Kentucky fans may remember Rhodes as a reliever for the Cincinnati Reds in 2009 & 2010, two seasons in which he posted a composite 2.41 earned run average over 135 games. His final season with the Reds (2010) resulted in his only All-Star recognition at the age of 40.

 

Coach Kevin Castleberry joins fellow Texan Rhodes as a coach for Lexington in 2024. Drafted by the Phillies in 1987 out of Conroe (TX) High School, Castleberry opted to play college ball for the University of Oklahoma before being drafted again by the Braves in 1989. With 10 years of professional ball experience at every level of affiliated ball, the former second baseman contributed to a pair of championship teams in the minors for the Double-A Brewers and Triple-A Expos in 1994 & 1995 respectively.

 

 

Former shortstop and utility man Mikey Reynolds rounds out the on-field brain trust for Lex this upcoming season. Die-hard Wildcats baseball fans may remember this former All-SEC infielder with the Texas A&M Aggies in 2013 when he hit .339 on the season. A fifth-round draft pick of the Braves, Mikey played professionally for nine seasons in five different countries, four independent leagues including the Atlantic League, three affiliated organizations for whom he won two batting titles and notched a league championship. The Pennsylvanian served as a player-coach with current Lexington GM Justin Ferrarella’s Sussex County (NJ) Miners team in 2022.

 

“I am thrilled to have such an experienced coaching staff on board,” said Justin. “With the combined big league and minor league expertise, I'm confident our players will thrive under their guidance. I'm eager for Gregg and his team to usher in a new era of exciting championship baseball in Lexington.”

 

The Lexington Legends open the 2024 Atlantic League season on Thursday night, April 25th at the ballpark on 207 Legends Lane against the High Point (NC) Rockers. Season and group tickets are on sale now at LexingtonLegends.com or by calling team offices at (859) 252-HITS (4487).



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