FRESNO, CA – (Grizzlies) The San Francisco Giants announced today that manager Steve Decker will return to Fresno for his second season at the helm of the Grizzlies in 2011. Pitching coach Pat Rice will also be back for his third season in the Central Valley, and Russ Morman will be the team’s new hitting coach.
Decker guided the Grizzlies to a 75-69 record in 2010, just the fourth winning season in the 13-year history of the franchise. He also joined the Giants coaching staff for the end of their regular season and post-season run to the World Championship. After two seasons as Grizzlies hitting coach (2003-04), Decker managed the Short-Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes to two Northwest League titles (2006, 2007) in his first three seasons as a Minor League manager. The Lewis & Clark State College alum then guided the Advanced Single-A San Jose Giants to a California League-best 88-55 record in 2008 before jumping to Double-A, where he led the Connecticut Defenders to the Eastern League finals in 2009. Decker, whose seven-year Major League playing career included four years as a catcher with the San Francisco Giants, owns a stellar 403-254 (.613) record as a Minor League manager.
Rice enters his third year guiding the Grizzlies pitching staff, and fourth overall in the Giants organization. He spent the prior 13 years in the Seattle Mariners organization, including eight seasons as the club’s Minor League Pitching Coordinator. Rice logged seven games (two starts) as a Major League pitcher with the Mariners and did not allow a run in his first 13.0 innings of work, setting a club record for scoreless innings to begin a career.
Morman joins the Grizzlies in the same capacity as he served at Double-A Richmond in 2010. Before he joined the Giants organization the Independence, Missouri native spent six years as a hitting coach in the Boston Red Sox farm system, split between Double-A Portland (ME) and Triple-A Pawtucket. Prior to coaching, Morman played parts of nine Major League seasons as a first baseman and outfielder with the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and Florida Marlins.
The Fresno Grizzlies begin their 10th season at Chukchansi Park on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 when they welcome the Las Vegas 51s to downtown Fresno.