The defending Eastern League champion Binghamton Mets are proud to announce that Pedro Lopez will return to the Southern Tier for his fourth season as manager. Lopez, the winningest manager in B-Mets history, will be joined by pitching coach Glenn Abbott and hitting coach Luis Natera. Athletic trainer Deb Iwanow and strength and conditioning coach Dane Inderrieden round out Lopez’s staff.
Lopez guided the 2014 Binghamton Mets to their first Eastern League championship in 20 years. The team fulfilled Lopez’s preseason request of “six more wins” in the playoffs by beating the Portland Sea Dogs in a thrilling five-game Eastern Division Championship Series and sweeping the Richmond Flying Squirrels to earn the franchise’s third Eastern League title.
The 2014 season also saw Lopez move into the top spot among B-Mets managers. The team’s 3-0 victory over the Harrisburg Senators on August 10 was his 226th win at the helm of the B-Mets, pushing him ahead of John Tamargo, who managed from 1994 to 1996. Lopez currently owns 237 regular season wins in Binghamton.
Lopez has steadily climbed the Mets’ minor league managerial ladder; compiling winning records at each stop leading to Binghamton. His journey began with the Kingsport Mets (Rookie) in 2008, where he guided the club to a 34-32 mark. Under his watch in 2009, the Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season-A) punched their ticket to the New York-Penn League postseason with a 45-30 record. Lopez kept the success rolling with another trip to the postseason with the Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A) in 2010. His 2011 St. Lucie Mets (High-A) made it all the way to the Florida State League championship series.
The former catcher logged 13 seasons in the minor leagues as a player after being drafted in the 21stround by the San Diego Padres in 1988. He reached Triple-A with the Las Vegas Stars before joining the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1995. Lopez finished his playing career in the Houston Astos’ system in 2000. In 909 career games, he hit .247, clocked 49 home runs and drove in 338 runs.
Abbott returns to the Southern Tier for his fourth year as pitching coach. Prior to his time with the Mets, Abbott was a pitching coach for five years in the San Diego Padres’ system, spent four seasons with the Texas Rangers’ organization and logged 13 years at various levels with the Oakland Athletics. The Arkansas native began his coaching career with the Little Falls Mets in 1985.
After getting drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 8th round in 1969, Abbott spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues as a starting pitcher for the A’s (1973-76), Seattle Mariners (1977-83) and Detroit Tigers (1983-84). In 248 career games, the righty made 206 starts, went 62-83, amassed a 4.39 ERA, struck out 484 batters and hurled five shutouts.
As a member of the Athletics in 1975, Abbott was part of the first four-pitcher no-hitter in MLB history. On September 28, he combined with Vida Blue, Paul Linblad, and Rollie Fingers to baffle the Angels on the final day of the regular season.
Natera returns to Binghamton after spending last year in the Majors as assistant hitting coach with the New York Mets. This season will be his 24th with the Mets organization and eighth in the Southern Tier. He has served as a hitting coach at five different levels during that time, including stints with Buffalo (AAA, 2009), St. Lucie (High-A, 2007), Hagerstown (Low-A, 2005-06), Kingsport (Rookie, 2003-04), and Capital City (Low-A, 1999).
Natera served in his native country as coordinator of the Mets’ Dominican Academy in 2001 and 2002. He managed the Dominican Mets (Rookie) in 2002 and skippered the DSL Mets from 1992-1997.
The former shortstop played in the Mets’ system from 1984 to 1988 and reached as high as Low-A. He lives with wife Maria Elena and their sons Luis Alberto, Jose Luis, and David Luis.
Deb Iwanow will head back to the Southern Tier for her second year as athletic trainer. The Delhi, New York native spent three seasons with the St. Lucie Mets from 2011 to 2013. A graduate of Ithaca College, she served as an assistant athletic trainer at Binghamton University in 2005 and 2006.
Inderrieden joins the B-Mets staff for his first season at Double-A. The Marty, Minnesota native served in the same capacity with the St. Lucie Mets last year. He received his B.S. from St. Cloud State University and attained a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Northern Michigan University. He has also spent time with the Gulf Coast League Mets (2013) and Brooklyn Cyclones (2012).
The Binghamton Mets are set to open their 24th season on April 9, 2015 in Akron against the RubberDucks. The B-Mets home opener on April 16, 2015, highlighted by a pregame ceremony to celebrate their 2014 championship, is just 77 days away. Season ticket packages and miniplans are on sale. Visit BMETS.COM, stop by the box office or call 723-METS for tickets.