With the start of their 25th season 58 days away, the Binghamton Mets are proud to announce the return of manager Pedro Lopez, pitching coach Glenn Abbott and hitting coach Luis Natera for the 2016 season. Strength and conditioning coach Dane Inderrieden will also be back for his second season. Binghamton’s athletic trainer position will be filled at a later time.
Lopez, the all-time winningest manager in Binghamton Mets history, prepares for his fifth season steering the ship in the Southern Tier. The Puerto Rico native was inducted into Binghamton’s Baseball Shrine in 2015 after guiding the B-Mets to three consecutive postseason appearances.
Lopez etched his name into Binghamton baseball lore in 2014 when he established “six more wins” as the team’s season-long mission. Under his steady direction, the B-Mets accomplished the feat, winning a nail-biting five-game series in Portland before sweeping Richmond to bring the Eastern League crown back to Binghamton for the first time in two decades.
The 2013 Eastern League Manager of the Year has steadily climbed the Mets’ minor league managerial ladder with stops in St. Lucie (High-A), Savannah (Low-A), Brooklyn (SS-A) and Kingsport (R).
The former catcher logged 13 seasons in the minor leagues as a player after being drafted in the 21st round by the San Diego Padres in 1988. In 909 career games, he hit .247, clocked 49 home runs and drove in 338 runs while playing in the Padres, Brewers and Astros organizations.
Abbott returns to the Southern Tier for his fifth year as the B-Mets’ pitching coach. The Arkansas native has guided the pitching staff to an average of 82 victories over the past three seasons. Abbott’s 2015 staff matched a franchise record with a paltry .246 opponent batting average.
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). Abbott compiled a 62-83 record and amassed a 4.39 ERA in 248 career games (206 starts). On September 28, 1975, he combined with Vida Blue, Paul Linblad and Rollie Fingers in the first four-pitcher no-hitter in MLB history.
This season marks Natera’s 25th with the Mets organization and ninth 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.
Inderrieden returns for his second season at Double-A. The Marty, Minnesota native served in the same capacity with the St. Lucie Mets in 2014. 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 B Mets open their silver season on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 6:35 PM at NYSEG Stadium against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Season tickets and mini packs are on sale now and may be purchased in person at NYSEG Stadium or by visiting www.bmets.com or calling (607) 723-METS.
Be sure to follow the B-Mets all offseason long on Facebook, Twitter and at the team’s official website (www.bmets.com).