The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the Low-A Great Lakes Loons coaching staff for the 2020 season, led by returning manager John Shoemaker, who enters his 44th year with the organization.
The upcoming campaign marks Shoemaker’s third consecutive as manager of the Loons. He is entering his 27th overall season as a Minor League manager, which includes a previous stint with Great Lakes during the 2011-12 seasons.
Shoemaker led the Loons to one of their best seasons in franchise history last year en route to 2019 Midwest League Manager of the Year honors. The Loons posted a 81-55 record during the regular season, winning the first half Eastern Division Championship and solidifying their second consecutive postseason appearance.
Shoemaker is the winningest manager in team history, having compiled a 282-277 record in 559 games over four seasons. Prior to his coaching days, he played second base in the Dodgers’ Minor League ranks from 1977-80.
Joining Shoemaker’s coaching staff is new hitting coach Seth Conner, who held the same position for Rookie-level Ogden last year. He previously served as a coach for the Loons in 2018.
Before becoming a coach, Conner spent five seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He was selected in the 41st round of the 2010 MLB Draft, appearing in 187 career games.
Taking over as pitching coach on Shoemaker’s staff is Stephanos Stroop. He served as the pitching coach of the Arizona League Dodgers last year in what was his first season in the organization. Among his previous ventures include assistant coach roles with the Washington Nationals (2014) and Atlanta Braves (2014-16).
Completing Shoemaker’s coaching staff is new bench coach Elian Herrera. He most recently occupied a spot on High-A Rancho Cucamonga’s coaching staff last year.
Signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2003, Herrera enjoyed a four-year Major League playing career that included stops with L.A. (2012-13) and the Milwaukee Brewers (2014-15). In 223 career games, he hit .253/.306/.360 with 35 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 55 RBI and 69 runs scored over 639 plate appearances.
The Loons begin their 2020 season against the Dayton Dragons at Day Air Ballpark on Thursday, April 9.
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