The Kamloops NorthPaws have tapped a former big league pitcher to be the club’s new head coach.
Jose Bautista, who has been pitching coach for the West Coast League team through each of its first two seasons, will take the reins as head coach next summer.
“I look at this position as being one of a teacher,” the 59-year-old Dominican said in a news release.
“I want to teach the players a little more about the game. It is one to be enjoyed. I am hoping they will improve their strengths, like relaxing when they hit.”
Over parts of nine MLB seasons, Bautista compiled a record of 32-42 and a career ERA of 4.62. He played for the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago Cubs, the San Francisco Giants, the Detroit Tigers and the St. Lous Cardinals.
Bautista said he has been in touch with some players from last summer and will recruit more to come to Kamloops. He said he plans to scout colleges on the East Coast, and will be in touch with other scouts in California and Arizona.
“I am definitely talking to the players from Kamloops who were on the team last year,” he said.
“I want to give them more of an opportunity to play and improve.”
NorthPaws general manager Jenna Forter said the club was excited to promote Bautista from within.
“He shares the values that this team is built on, and his passion for the athletes and their development was our deciding factor in promoting him to head coach,” she said.
“We are looking forward to 2024 and welcoming back local Canadian talent, along with new athletes to add to our roster.”
The club said more coaching announcements will be made “in the near future.”
The 2024 WCL schedule has not yet been released. The season will get underway in late May or early June.