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Cubs reveal their 2008 minor-league coordinators
Special to the Daily Herald
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Published: 1/22/2008 2:08 PM

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The Cubs on Tuesday announced their minor-league coordinators for the 2008 season, highlighted by the return of five instructors from the 2007 season.

• Dave Bialas returns as the minor-league field coordinator for the sixth consecutive season and his 14th year in the Cubs organization. A 36-year veteran of professional baseball, he has 13 seasons of minor league managerial experience, compiling a 912-881 record and leading his teams to six league championship series. As a player, Bialas spent his minor league career as an outfielder in the Cardinals system, compiling a .274 batting average in 1,019 games from 1972-1982.

• Bobby Dickerson begins his third season as infield and bunting coordinator after managing at Double-A West Tenn in the Cubs minor league system the previous four seasons from 2002-2005. He has seven seasons of minor league managerial experience, guiding his team to the postseason five times. In 2002, he managed West Tenn to the Southern League title.

• Bob Dernier returns for his second season as the Cubs outfield and baserunning coordinator. Dernier roamed the outfield for the Cubs from 1984-1987 and compiled a .255 career batting average in 904 major league contests with the Phillies (1980-1983, 1988-1989) and Chicago. He stole 218 bases in the majors, and was caught just 63 times.

• Dave Keller continues his duties as hitting coordinator for the fifth-straight year. Prior to this stint with Chicago, he was a major league staff assistant and bullpen catcher for the Cleveland Indians from 2001-2003. Keller played professionally in the Cincinnati Reds organization for three seasons (1982-1984), batting .289 with 22 homers and 108 RBI.

• Casey Kopitzke returns as the catching coordinator for the second consecutive season. Originally drafted by the Cubs in the 27th round of the 1999 Draft, he spent his entire eight-year pro career in Chicago's farm system. The former catcher committed just 11 errors in 2,057 total chances (.995 fielding percentage) from 2002-2006.

• Carmelo Martinez enters his 11th season in the Cubs organization, and his first as Latin American field coordinator. The former major league outfielder and first baseman spent the previous 10 seasons at Rookie League Mesa, handling managerial duties in 1999-2003 and 2006. His 2002 Mesa club won the Arizona League title with a 35-21 record.

• Mark Riggins begins his first season as pitching coordinator after handling the same duty with St. Louis for the past 12 seasons. In 1995, he served as the Cardinals pitching coach under Joe Torre and Mike Jorgensen. Riggins pitched five seasons in St. Louis' farm system after he was signed out of Murray State University in 1979.

• Additionally, the Cubs have promoted area scouts Jose Serra, Rolando Pino and Hector Ortega. Serra is the organization's Latin American operations manager after logging time as an area scout in the Dominican Republic. Pino, who has scouted players in Florida and Puerto Rico, has been named Latin American coordinator while Ortega is the Latin American supervisor thanks in part to his time scouting talent in Venezuela.

The Cubs have added to their scouting department, as Charlie Aliano has been named eastern regional supervisor. Bill Harford returns to the organization as a major league scout after working for Chicago's scouting department from 1979-1992. Additionally, Mike Valarezo joins the Cubs as special assistant to the general manager after serving as full-time scout with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.