The Washington Nationals announced their minor league staff Monday, including the name of the new Auburn Doubledays manager.
Ralph "Rocket" Wheeler will take over as the manager of the Doubledays for the 2019 season.
Franklin Bravo is returning as the pitching coach, and Mark Harris is back as the hitting coach. Kirby Craft will be the athletic trainer, while Ryan Grose will be the new strength and conditioning coach.
Wheeler, 63, spent the last 16 years in the Atlanta Braves organization, including managing Rome of the South Atlantic League in 2017 and 2018. The Houston native was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1977 draft and spent six years in the minors before getting into coaching in 1985.
Wheeler was a coach for the Syracuse Chiefs in 1986, and served as the team's hitting coach from 1990 to 1993.
Wheeler is also familiar with the New York-Penn League. He played for Utica in 1977 and managed St. Catharines in 1996 and 1997.
Wheeler will be at the Doubledays' annual Hot Stove Dinner to answer questions along with Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba. The event is Jan. 31 at the Springside Inn.
Wheeler takes over for Jerad Head, who spent the last three season as the skipper of the Doubledays and led the team to the playoffs last summer.