Michael Collins will be a senior assistant coach to Steve Schrenk with the Canberra Cavalry this season. Photo: Gary Schafer GCS
The Canberra Cavalry has one eye on the present and another on the future with its coaching appointments for the upcoming Australian Baseball League season.
Steve Schrenk will once again take the reins of the Cavalry for a third-successive season, but the ABL club has also appointed foundation player Michael ''Tubby'' Collins as his senior assistant with the view to grooming the Canberra product for the top job.
Collins is currently senior coach of the San Diego Padres' Dominican Summer League team.
Cavalry assistant general manager Thom Carter said the club was excited about developing Collins to take over the role. ''Tubby is the head coach of the Dominican team within the Padres and they're pretty bullish with his growth and he has great baseball IQ,'' Carter told The Canberra Times.
''To tap him as our manager of the future is a good opportunity and good option as we move forward.''
Carter said Schrenk had done a great job in setting up the Cavalry and its culture from scratch.
The Cavs are yet to play finals, but Carter said there was no pressure on Schrenk breaking the playoff drought this year.
He said the team had shown great improvement from its inaugural year, narrowly missing out on the finals last season.
''We always have the expectation as an organisation to make it into the finals, I don't think there's added pressure on Steve,'' Carter said of the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach.
''Steve wants to bring a title to this town as much as anybody else does … he's taken a very active role in putting together the roster during the off-season and to see that full buy-in from him is great.''
The Cavalry is yet to finalise its roster for the 2012-13 season, which pitches off against arch-rivals Sydney Blue Sox at Narrabundah Ballpark on November 2.
Carter said Canberra would again bring out plenty of players affiliated with Major League clubs, but he was unsure which clubs they would be or whether Schrenk would bring any Phillies with him.
But The Canberra Times believes the Cavalry is close to re-signing star players Brian Burgamy, who won last season's ABL silver slugger award, and Kody Hightower.
''We would love to have the Phillies here, we loved having Tampa Bay [players last year], we'd love to have them back,'' Carter said.