A’s shuffle 2017 development staff

The Oakland Athletics announced their 2017 development staff, on Tuesday, with changes in several key positions at nearly every level.

Those changes begin at the very top with Ed Sprague, who spent 2016, his first season with the organization, in the role of consultant for the staff.

The Stockton native, and Stanford alum, spent one (1998) of his 11 major league seasons with the A’s, playing in 27 games. Prior to his consultancy position, Sprague was the head coach of the University of the Pacific (Stockton) baseball team, where he coached the Tigers to a 250-406 record with just three seasons of an above-.500 record.

Steve Scarsone, a former San Francisco Giants infielder, was promoted to the position of traveling instructor after a 2016 division title and Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as the skipper with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He has managed at several levels within the Oakland organization since 2009. He also brings nine years of managerial experience from his previous post at multiple levels of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

To replace Scarsone as the Triple-A Nashville manager, the A’s have tabbed Ryan Christenson, who spent the first three-plus seasons as a player in the Green and Gold.

The former big league outfielder has spent the last two seasons as the manager of the Double-A Midland Rockhounds where led his teams to back-to-back Texas League Championships, and a 323-236 record en route to four consecutive MiLB postseason appearances. He has also served at the helm of the Class-A Beloit Snappers.

His replacement as the manager of Double-A Midland, Fran Riordan, spent all of his seven years of professional ball at the minor league level. He has spent the past two seasons managing Single-A Beloit.

Filling the manager’s seat with Single-A Beloit will be new Oakland staffer Scott Steinmann, who had spent each of his first 19 seasons in professional baseball — three as a player and 16 as a coach — in the Seattle Mariners season.

The one-time catcher has held several coaching positions at minor league posts ranging from rookie ball to Double-A. Most recently, Steinmann filled the manager position with the Double-A Clinton LumberKings in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, where he finished with a 107-170 record.

The Single-A Stockton Ports will be the A’s only minor league affiliate with a holdover at the manager’s position. Rick Magnante, who is entering his third season at that post and No. 21 in the organization. Despite the continuity at the top, the Ports are also the only team with any uncertainty, in regards to the staff.

Travis Tims, who was named the California League Athletic Trainer of the Year, will open his tenth season with the organization as the rehab coordinator.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.