(Mustangs media release)
BILLINGS – The National League Cincinnati Reds announced Tuesday that Ray Martinez will return for his third consecutive season as field manager of the Billings Mustangs in 2018. In his first two seasons, 2016 and 2017, Martinez has compiled a 77-73 (.513) regular season record.
Joining Martinez is pitching coach Derrin Ebert, hitting coach Bryan LaHair, athletic trainers Josh Hobson and Brandon Blascak, and strength coach Justin Bucko. Ebert returns to Billings in 2018 after spending the previous two seasons as pitching coach for the Dayton Dragons, the Reds Class-A Midwest League affiliate.
“We’re looking forward to Ray managing the team again this season,” said Gary Roller, Mustangs General Manager. “He has established himself as a strong leader and had solid seasons in 2016 and 2017. We expect that he will continue down that very same path this summer. Ray is a proven asset to both the Reds organization and to ours, and under his direction we’re confident that 2018 will be another successful season for the Mustangs.”
Martinez, 49, enters his eighth season in the Cincinnati organization. He spent the 2015 season as the manager for the Rookie AZL Reds and previously served as the hitting coach for the Class-A Bakersfield Blaze (2013, 2014), Billings Mustangs (2012) and the AZL Reds (2011).
“We are excited to announce Ray Martinez’s return to Billings as the Mustangs manager for 2018,” noted Reds Director of Player Development Jeff Graupe. “He will continue to oversee a critical step in our development process as he introduces our young players to a winning environment. Derrin Ebert will return as pitching coach after undertaking a significant role during Extended spring training organizing a larger cast of pitchers in 2018. Bryan LaHair will be seeing his first action as a professional coach and we are excited to have him work with players in the best facility in the Pioneer League.”
A former infielder, Martinez played in parts of 18 professional seasons, including stints in the California Angels, Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres organizations. He was selected by California in the 7th round of the 1987 draft and played in more than 1,500 minor league games.
The 2018 season marks the 66th season that the Mustangs franchise has called Billings home and the 45th consecutive season that the club has served as the rookie affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The partnership between the Mustangs and Reds, which began in 1974, is the longest running affiliation in the Pioneer League and one of the longest in all of professional baseball.
The Mustangs open the ‘18 campaign at Dehler Park on Friday, June 15 when they play host to the Missoula Osprey in the first game of a 4-game series. Game time for Opening Day is set for 7:05 pm.
For ticket information, including full-season and partial-season plans, call the Mustangs at (406) 252-1241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out billingsmustangs.com and tune in to Mustangs social media for updates and information on tickets, promotions and more for the 2018 season.