DUNEDIN – Longtime Blue Jays player, coach and manager Omar Malavé will manage the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2014, the team announced Jan. 13.
Stubby Clapp will return for his second year as hitting coach, and Darold Knowles will handle the pitching staff for a ninth consecutive season. 2013 manager Bobby Meacham will manage the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats this upcoming season, the Jays said.
Malavé has spent more than 30 years with the organization, starting when he was signed as a free agent in 1980. After a nine-year playing career, Malavé went on to manage and coach at six different levels in the Blue Jays system. He managed the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays, the Double-A Knoxville Smokies, and the Triple-A Syracuse SkyChiefs before working as a first base coach for Toronto in 2010.
Malavé managed in Dunedin from 2004-2009, guiding the club to four playoff births and one finals appearance in six seasons. He spent the 2013 season as the coordinator of Latin American operations in the Blue Jays player development system.
Clapp rejoins the team for his second year as hitting coach, taking on the same role he had with the Greenville Astros (Rookie affiliate) in 2007 and 2009, the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League in 2008 and the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros’ Double-A affiliate) in 2010. This past season, Clapp’s exhaustive work in the dugout and in the batting cages helped turn around a number of individual hitting slumps, the Jays said. In just one instance, RF Matt Newman’s batting average jumped .052 points during the final two months of the season.
Clapp played 23 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001, but made a name for himself with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds and as a member of Team Canada during two Olympics, two World Baseball Classics and the Pan American Games. Clapp led the Redbirds with 138 hits, 89 runs, 80 walks and 8 triples during the 2000 season, and ranks second all-time in games played (425) and hits (418) with Memphis. The team eventually retired his number in 2007. Clapp earned national recognition in Canada during the 1999 Pan American Games, when his 11th inning bases-loaded RBI single knocked off Team USA en route to a bronze medal.
Pitching coach Darold Knowles returns to the ball club for a ninth-straight season. Knowles led the Blue Jays pitching staff to yet another impressive season in 2013 as the team posted a 3.51 ERA, good for third in the league and a key factor in the team’s first-half North Division title.
After pitching 16 seasons as a reliever in the major leagues, Knowles started his coaching career with eight years in the Cardinals organization before starting a brief stint as the Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching coach in 1988. He eventually joined the Florida State League in 1991 as a member of the Clearwater Threshers’ coaching staff, and later signed on with Dunedin in 2006.
The FSL Hall of Fame honoree’s impressive coaching resume compliments his remarkable career, in which he won three straight World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics from 1972-1974. Knowles is the only pitcher to appear in all seven games of a single World Series, as he tossed 6.1 innings without allowing an earned run during the 1973 Fall Classic. The southpaw also holds the highest pickoff rate in major league history, nabbing a base runner once every 24 innings. Knowles finished his playing career with a 3.12 ERA and 143 saves.