The Worcester Red Sox and Boston Red Sox are pleased to announce that Chad Tracy will return for his second season as WooSox manager for the 2023 season. Additionally, the clubs announced today that hitting coach Rich Gedman, pitching coach Paul Abbott, bench coach Jose David Flores, assistant hitting coach Mike Montville, and development coach Brendan Connolly will all resume their roles on the Worcester coaching staff this coming season.
Furthermore, Matt Wheeler, who made his coaching debut last season with Single-A Greenville, has been named as the WooSox bullpen coach. Wheeler was the WooSox video intern in 2021.
Boston Red Sox Director of Player Development Brian Abraham made the official announcement.
The WooSox also completed the remainder of their field staff by naming Scott Gallon as Head Athletic Trainer (he as the WooSox Assistant Trainer last season), Nick Kuchwara has been promoted from Double-A Portland to become the new WooSox Assistant Trainer, Edwin Rodriguez returns for his third season as WooSox Massage Therapist, and Ben Chadwick is back as Worcester strength coach for his third season as well.
Chad Tracy, 37, was named as the second manager in Worcester Red Sox history on December 13, 2021. His 2022 WooSox club finished with a winning record for the second time in as many years of existence as they went 75-73 good for 6th-place in the International League East and 10-games behind division champ Durham.
The WooSox made 213 player transactions last season and set a new all-time Red Sox Triple-A record for players appearing in a single season. The WooSox used 75 different players during the 2022 season (31 position players and 44 pitchers). Ironically, the 2021 WooSox set the previous mark of 72 different players (31 position players and 41 pitchers) last season. That beat the 1995 Pawtucket Red Sox (during a strike year when replacement players were used for the first month+ of that season) and the 2006 PawSox who each employed 70 different players.
Furthermore, 28different WooSox players were promoted to Boston this past season (not counting Red Sox rehabbing players) led by Brayan Bello, Triston Casas, Kutter Crawford, Jarren Duran, Rob Refsnyder, John Schreiber, Josh Winckowski, Connor Wong, and several others.
Tracy had spent the previous seven seasons (2015-21) in the Los Angeles Angels organization, including three as a minor league manager with Low-A Burlington (2015) and High-A Inland Empire (2016-17). For four seasons (2018-21), he served as the Angels’ Minor League Field Coordinator.
Born in Arlington Heights, IL, Chad spent most of his childhood in Sarasota, FL before moving to Claremont, CA at the age of 16. He starred at Claremont High School and Pepperdine University where he was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2005 when he led the WCC with a .367 batting average. In 2006 he was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award given to the top catcher in NCAA Division 1.
Tracy, who was selected by the Texas Rangers in the third round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, broke into pro ball as a catcher but the 6’3”, 210 lbs. right handed hitter spent most of his career as a first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter. In nine professional seasons, all in the minor leagues (2006-13) and independent Atlantic League (2013-14), Chad hit .267 with 159 home runs and 706 RBI. He reached Triple-A in 2010 with Oklahoma City and in 2011 with Round Rock (both Texas Rangers’ AAA affiliates) and had his best season with the Express in 2011 with 26 HR, 109 RBI, and 80 runs scored in 134 games.
He began his managerial career in 2015 with Burlington (Iowa), the Angels’ low-A affiliate in the Midwest League. 1B/OF Trevor Gretzky, son of Wayne (and Janet Jones) was on that Burlington Bees team in 2015/
WooSox manager Chad Samuel Tracy, born on the 4th of July in 1985, is not related to former Major League infielder Chad Austin Tracy who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2004-09 and the Washington Nationals from 2012-13. Worcester’s skipper is indeed related to Jim Tracy, Chad’s father, who played in the Major Leagues and served as a big league manager for 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-05), Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07), and Colorado Rockies (2009-12), earning National League Manager of the Year honors in 2009. Furthermore, Chad’s grandfather Jim Tracy, Sr. and his brothers Brian and Mark Tracy have all played baseball professionally.
Chad currently lives in Fairfield, OH (just outside of Cincinnati) with his wife Emily and their 8-year-old daughter Avery and 4-year-old son Austin.
Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame catcher Rich Gedman returns for his third season as WooSox hitting coach in his native hometown of Worcester. 2023 will mark his 9th season as Red Sox Triple-A hitting coach (dating back to Pawtucket in 2015) which is easily the longest tenure of any Red Sox Triple-A hitting coach in franchise history.
Last season Worcester batters were 15th in the 20-team league with their .246 average and their 181 homeruns ranked 7th best. In his two seasons with the WooSox, “Geddy” has helped players such as Triston Casas, Franchy Cordero, Jarren Duran, Ronaldo Hernandez, Yairo Munoz, and Connor Wong produce fine offensive seasons.
Paul Abbott is back for his third season in Worcester and his 6th season as a pitching coach in the Red Sox system. The former big league hurler spent 11 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1990-2004. His 2021 WooSox pitching staff helped the club finish 20-games over .500 during their inaugural season with a 74-54 record. In 2022, WooSox pitchers were 9th in the league with their 4.40 ERA. Sox pitchers allowed the fewest HR in all of Triple-A Baseball by a wide margin (117 HRA). Lehigh Valley was next closest to the WooSox in the IL with 138 HRA.
In addition, Worcester pitchers set a new modern day Red Sox Triple-A franchise record for strikeouts in a season as WooSox pitchers were 2nd in the league with 1,411 strikeouts to better the previous record held by the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2018 (1,221 SO). Gwinnett was 1st with 1,421 SO.
In his two seasons in Worcester, “Abby” has worked closely with pitchers Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, Franklin German, Tanner Houck, Zack Kelly, Bryan Mata, Kaleb Ort, John Schreiber, and Josh Winckowski who all have appeared for both Worcester and Boston in 2021 and/or 2022.
Jose David Flores has more than 20 years of experience as a coach or manager. Prior to joining the WooSox as bench coach in 2022 (his first year in the Red Sox organization), he had most recently spent the 2019 & 2020 seasons as the third base coach for the Baltimore Orioles. Jose spent one season as the first base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018 under Gabe Kapler. He also served as the infield coach for both the Orioles and Phillies during those years. Prior to joining the major league ranks, Flores served as the Chicago Cubs’ Minor League infield coordinator from 2013-17.
A native of Puerto Rico, Jose has been a third base/infield coach in the Puerto Rico Professional Winter League since 2000. Selected by the Houston Astros in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Flores spent his entire professional playing career as an infielder in Houston’s minor league system from 1990-94. A slick-fielding, switch-hitting middle infielder, Jose reached Double-A Jackson of the former Texas League in 1994.
Mike Montville, a Portsmouth, NH native, joined the WooSox as a coach in 2021 and last season was officially named the WooSox assistant hitting coach – the first such full-time position in Red Sox Triple-A history. He will continue in that role in 2023.
Tickets for all WooSox Spring Games – Opening Day and April & May – are on sale now at WooSox.com, by calling (508) 500-8888, or at the Polar Park Ticket Office during regular business hours. Opening Day on Friday, March 31 at Polar Park will mark the earliest a Red Sox Triple-A team has ever begun a season. The WooSox will face the Syracuse Mets (Triple-A, New York Mets) at 4:05 p.m., followed by “UniBank Fireworks” after the game.