The Amarillo Sod Poodles have announced the Manager and Coaching position for the 2021 season.
Shawn Roof will lead Amarillo as manager along with pitching coach and former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek, hitting coach, Travis Denker, coach Carlos Mesa, athletic trainer Joe Rosauer, and strength & conditioning coach Derek Clovis.
Roof returns for his fourth season in the Diamondback organization as team manager and 7th overall season in professional baseball. Roof began his managerial career with the Hillsboro Hops, the then Class A Short Season Affiliate of the D-backs, in 2017, where he led the Hops to the playoffs with a 41-35 record. In 2018, the Hops won the Northwest League regular-season championship and made it to the semi-finals in playoffs, which earned him his first Manager of the Year award. In 2016, he served his first season with the D-backs organization as Bench Coach for the Kane County Cougars.
Drabek, 58, enters his 11th season with the D-backs organization and fifth at the Double-A level. In 2019, as pitching coach with Double-A Jackson, Generals pitching allowed the second-fewest total runs (490), surrendered the fewest home runs, and propelled to the second-best overall run differential (+120) in the league. In 2018, he coached the pitching staff to a franchise-record 1,300 strikeouts while also leading the league in WHIP (1.25) and holds (58). In 2010, the Magnolia, Texas native accepted a position with the D-backs organization as a pitching coach, starting in short-season Yakima before advancing to Visalia (2011-12), Hillsboro (2013-15), Mobile (2016), and Jackson (2017-19). Drabek played 13 seasons professionally with five organizations (New York Yankees (1986), Pittsburgh Pirates (1987–1992), Houston Astros (1993–1996), Chicago White Sox (1997), Baltimore Orioles (1998)). He was the 1990 National League Cy Young Award winner with Pittsburgh (22 wins) and was named a National League All-Star with the Houston Astros in 1994 before retiring in 1998.
Denker, 35, enters his third season as a coach in the D-backs organization and first at the Double-A level. The Southern California native started his coaching career in 2018 with Visalia and returned to the Rawhide in 2019 as the Hitting Coach, where he led Visalia to a .254 batting average, the third-highest in the league. Denker was drafted in the 21st round of 2003 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The former infielder played 12 years in the Minors with six organizations (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Arizona) and 24 games in the Majors with the San Francisco Giants. He ended his playing career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.
Mesa, 32, enters his fourth season of coaching in the Diamondbacks organization and first at the Double-A level. The Cuba native started coaching for the D-backs system in 2017 with the Dominican Summer League D-backs, advancing in 2018 to Hillsboro, 2019 in Kane County, and was supposed to coach the 2020 season in Visalia. As a player, Mesa played five seasons (2011-16) in the minors with Pittsburgh and Boston.
Rosauer returns for his third season with the D-backs Double-A squad after two seasons in Jackson and fifth overall in the organization. The Iowa native who currently resides in Buda, Texas started with the D-backs organization in 2016 with Rookie-level Missoula and promoted to Low-A Kane County in 2017. He earned degrees in Athletic Training from Central (IA) College and Indiana State.
Clovis enters his second season at the Double-A level and fourth season as a Strength Coach in the D-backs organization after spending his first two years in Hillsboro in the same capacity. The Seattle native earned his degree from Whitman College.
Amarillo will host their 2021 home opener at Hodgetown on Tuesday, May 18 against the Midland RockHounds.