From the Salem Red Sox: Joe Oliver will return for his third go-round as the manager of the Salem Red Sox in 2018, according to a Boston Red Sox press release Tuesday. Boston Red Sox Vice President of Player Development Ben Crockett announced the coaching staff for the entire Red Sox organization system. Hitting coach Nelson “Pepe” Paulino and head athletic trainer Nick Kuchwara also return, and are joined by new pitching coach Lance Carter, with 2017 pitching coach Paul Abbott moved up to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
Oliver enters his fifth year in the professional coaching ranks, all with the Red Sox organization. The former catcher was a member of the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds club, and finished his 13-year Major League Baseball playing career with Boston in 2001. Oliver began his managerial path with the short-season Lowell Spinners over the 2014 and 2015 seasons before taking the helm in Salem before the 2016 season. He led the Red Sox to a Carolina League-best 87-53 record and a playoff berth in 2016. In 2017, Joe skippered the Sox to a 73-66 record, missing the playoffs on tiebreakers in the first half. In the offseason, Oliver lives in Orlando, Florida, where he coached baseball at Pine Castle Christian Academy, Bishop Moore Catholic High School and Boone High School between 2002 and 2013.
Paulino begins his 21st season as a coach in the Boston system, and his fourth with the Salem Red Sox (2013, 2016, 2017). “Pepe” was a three-year professional player in the Atlanta Braves system between 1992 and 1994. He returned to Salem in 2016 after two years with the Drive, and the Salem Sox put up an eye-popping 4.99 runs per game (second in the Carolina League) after averaging 4.32 runs per game in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Previously, Paulino was a mainstay of the Dominican Summer League Red Sox between 1998 and 2011, including four seasons as manager and six years as hitting coach. He moved up to Lowell in 2012 as their hitting coach.
Carter is making his Salem debut in 2018 after three seasons with the Lowell Spinners, where he entered the Red Sox organization in 2015 under Joe Oliver’s managerial leadership. In his three seasons as pitching coach, the Spinners posted a strong 3.48 team ERA. Prior to joining the Red Sox organization, Carter was the pitching coach for the University of South Florida Bulls in 2013, and for the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season, Philadelphia) in 2010 and 2011. He is a six-year MLB veteran who played for the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers, registering a career record of 13-12 with a 4.15 ERA in 181 appearances out of the bullpen. In 2003, Carter saved 26 games for the Devil Rays and earned an All-Star appearance.
Kuchwara returns as the team’s head athletic trainer in his third season with Salem. He was the trainer for Lowell in 2015 after having previously worked in the same capacity in Portland and Pawtucket. This will be the fifth season in the Boston Red Sox system for the native of San Antonio, Texas.
The Salem Red Sox open 2018 at Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark on Thursday, April 5 against the Buies Creek Astros. Flex plans and season ticket packages are available at the Haley Toyota Field box office, by phone at (540) 389-3333, and online at SalemSox.com.