Tag: Omar Ramirez

Chukars announce 2018 coaching staff

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @LukeORoark
A familiar face will be back with the Idaho Falls Chukars this summer.

The Chukars, an advanced rookie-level affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, announced Omar Ramirez will manage the team in 2018, returning to Idaho Falls after spending three season with Burlington and Lexington.

Idaho Falls Chukars pitching coach Jeff Suppan, right, watches right-hander Reid Redman on June 14 at the team’s first workout at Melaleuca Field.(Monte LaOrange / mlaorange@postregister.com)

Ramirez takes over for now former Chukars manager Justin Gemoll, who will join Grand Canyon Baseball as a volunteer assistant coach for the Lopes’ 2018 season.

Ramirez previously managed the Chukars from 2012 to 2014 and was a part of the Chukars’ 2013 Pioneer League championship team.

“We welcome back Omar Ramirez, the manager who brought us our last championship in 2013,” Chukars’ President and general manager Kevin Greene said in a press release. “He along with a great supporting coaching staff of Jeff and Damon should make for a fun season of baseball in Idaho Falls.”

Joining Ramirez in 2018 will be pitching coach Jeff Suppan and hitting coach Damon Hollins, both who were a part of the Cuhkars’ 2017 staff. Suppan returns for his fourth year in Idaho Falls and brings 17 years of Major league experience.

For Hollins, he returns for his eighth season within the Kansas City Royals organization, the press release states. Hollins will also serve as an assistant outfield, base running and bunting coordinator.

Justin Kemp will also return to the Chukars as the team’s head athletic trainer in 2018. It will be his third season with the Chukars.

Idaho Falls’ opening day is set for June 15. The Chukars will host the Ogden Raptors at Melaleuca Field, as first pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m.

Chukars announce their 2017 coaching staff

Gemoll
Gemoll

A new hitting coach will sit in the Idaho Falls Chukars dugout this summer.

Damon Hollins will replace Andre David as the Chukars’ hitting instructor for the 2017 season, the Chukars announced Friday. Manager Justin Gemoll and pitching coach Jeff Suppan will return to Idaho Falls for their third straight seasons, and Justin Kemp will serve as the Chukars’ head athletic trainer for the second straight year.

This is not Hollins’ first stint as the Chukars’ hitting coach. He held the same position in 2013 and 2014. Hollins spent the previous two seasons as the hitting coach for the Single-A Lexington Legends. 2017 will be Hollins’ eighth year in the Kansas City Royals’ organization.

David was named the hitting coach for the Burlington Royals, Kansas City’s other Rookie-level affiliate, according to the (Burlington, N.C.) Times-News. Former Chukars manager Omar Ramirez will become Burlington’s manager this upcoming season, as well. Ramirez, who managed the Legends the last two years, spent three seasons in Idaho Falls. He and Hollins won a Pioneer League title in 2013.

The Chukars did not name a bench coach on Friday. Ramon Castro has occupied that role the previous two seasons.

Q&A: Chukars’ rookie manager Justin Gemoll

Manager Justin Gemoll talks about his hopes for the team during Chukars Media Day on Wednesday at Melaleuca Field.  (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)
Manager Justin Gemoll talks about his hopes for the team during Chukars Media Day on Wednesday at Melaleuca Field. (Pat Sutphin / psutphin@postregister.com)

BY VICTOR FLORES
vflores@postregister.com

The Idaho Falls Chukars’ new manager is already enjoying his time in Idaho Falls.

Justin Gemoll grew up in San Jose, Calif., and often visited Lake Tahoe for fishing trips. After Gemoll, 37, was hired by the Chukars in November to replace Omar Ramirez, he researched Idaho Falls and discovered how popular fly fishing is in the area.

It was an excellent marriage of city and the new coach, who lives in Surprise, Ariz., with his wife Jennifer and children Samantha, Gavin and Jackson.

Today, Gemoll will manage his first regular season game for the Chukars against the Grand Junction Rockies at 7:15 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon, Gemoll sat down with the Post Register to discuss the city of Idaho Falls, his previous coaching experience and his goals for his first managerial job.

NOTE: This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.

What do you like about Idaho Falls, other than fishing?

“So far, all of the people we’ve met have been very nice and polite. You guys have welcomed us with open arms, and that’s all we can ask for as staff and players. It looks like a great city. From what it sounds like, everyone’s Chukars fans here, so we’re looking forward to some great crowds and loud crowds at home.”

Where did you coach in six years prior to bench coach job with Wilmington last year?

“In the six years previous to that, I was a hitting coach. I started off a year at Arizona as a hitting coach, then three years in Wilmington as a hitting coach, which I was blessed to do. I got to have (Eric) Hosmer, (Mike) Moustakas, (Jarrod) Dyson. A lot of those guys that we have in the big leagues now came through there. Salvador Perez. It was real exciting to watch those guys. Then, I went with Lexington for a year and Burlington, North Carolina, for a year before being a bench coach.”

Do you still keep in touch with those major league players?

“Yeah. It’s funny, we went to the World Series last year, my wife and I. They let us in the stadium early before the general admission so we could watch the guys and say Hi. We were just hanging back watching them and Hosmer and Mous were down there at first base screaming, ‘Hey, G.’ It was pretty cool. My wife was crying. She’s real sentimental.”

What are your goals for this season?

“At the rookie ball level, it’s to get all of these guys acquainted with the daily grind of professional baseball, learning how to prepare themselves to go out and compete and win every single night. That being said, some of these kids are gone from their families for their first extended period, so there are going to be some issues. It’s going to be a learning process.”

What do you do to get a group of players like this to become tight-knit?

“Talk about things other than baseball all of the time. We’ll talk about what they like to do in their free time, we’ll joke around with each other, the music’s playing in (the clubhouse). We’ll change it so one day we’ll listen to Latin American music, the next day is country and the next day is stuff we like, the throwback stuff that shouldn’t be throwback. I was told Pearl Jam is ancient now.”

Ramirez promoted, will lead Chukars in 2012

The Kansas City Royals announced Monday that it has promoted Omar Ramirez, the club’s hitting coach in 2011, to the Chukars’ manager for 2012.

Prior to last season, his first year in Idaho Falls, Ramirez served as the hitting coach with the Royals’ former Low-A affiliate in Burlington, Iowa, and played eight seasons in the minors with the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros.

The Dominican native led Idaho Falls to a .287 batting average last season, the club’s highest since 2004, and 63 home runs, the most since 2005.

Joining his staff is pitching coach Jerry Nyman, who returns for his third straight season in Idaho Falls and 25th as a professional coach. Justin Gemoll will fill Martinez’s shoes as the hitting coach after holding the same position last summer with the Royals’ High-A affiliate in Wilmington, Del. Nathan Dine joins the staff as the strength and conditioning coach.

Buck Buchanan, who’s managed the Chukars the past two season, moved up in the Royals system to manage its Low-A affiliate in Kane County, Ill., which is one step higher than Idaho Falls.