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In Charge: Shelley Duncan returns as Yankees announce SWB field staff

Shelley Duncan back as RailRiders skipper with majority of the 2023 staff behind him
January 26, 2024

MOOSIC, PA (January 26, 2024) – The New York Yankees have announced the field staff for each of their minor league affiliates and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are pleased to welcome Manager Shelley Duncan back to the dugout in 2024. Duncan will see the majority of his 2023 staff return, including

MOOSIC, PA (January 26, 2024) – The New York Yankees have announced the field staff for each of their minor league affiliates and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are pleased to welcome Manager Shelley Duncan back to the dugout in 2024. Duncan will see the majority of his 2023 staff return, including Pitching Coach Graham Johnson, Hitting Coach Trevor Amicone, Defensive Coach José Javier and Athletic Trainer Jimmy Downam.

Gerardo Casadiego joins the field staff as the Bullpen Coach while Danny Smith will be the club’s Strength & Conditioning Coach in 2024. Nori Subero has been added to the roster as the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Steven DiMaria is the new Advance Scouting Analyst.

Jim Billington and Sullivan Lyons return to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the same roles they held last season. Billington is the RailRiders’ Home Clubhouse Manager and Lyons is the Video Assistant.

Duncan, 44, was tabbed as the 20th manager in franchise history in January 2023 and led the team to a 73-75 mark last season. He was drafted by the Yankees in 2001; a second-round selection out of the University of Arizona. He reached Triple-A with Columbus in 2006 and spent portions of three seasons in an SWB Yankees uniform. Duncan appeared in 272 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre between 2007 and 2009. In ‘09, he hit .277 with 30 home runs and 99 runs batted in over 123 games, garnering the nod for International League MVP. His Major League career spanned 330 games for the Yankees, Cleveland and Tampa Bay over seven years.

“Going into my second season with essentially the same staff is extremely exciting,” Duncan said. “We get to start this season with solid chemistry already in place. We know each other and that learning period won’t be there. It’s a great group and I’m excited to get to work.”

Shelley Duncan returns for a second season as the manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Johnson, 38, has served as the RailRiders Pitching Coach for the last two seasons, posting top-five I.L. finishes in ERA and strikeouts in both years. Before joining the Yankees organization in 2022, he served as a minor league pitching coach in the Houston Astros system. Johnson played at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, MO, before becoming a graduate assistant at Lindenwood University, completing his Master’s of Education with an emphasis in strength and conditioning degree in 2010. After a stint with Western Illinois University, he joined the staff at Morehead State. Johnson was the pitching coach for the Eagles from 2012-17 and also served as an assistant head coach, overseeing field maintenance and the academic development of all student-athletes involved in the baseball program.

Amicone, 36, also returns to the role he has held for the last two seasons with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The RailRiders hit a franchise-record 219 home runs last season, surpassing the previous mark of 2012 set in 2019. Amicone joined the Yankees organization in 2020 The Sandy, Utah, native has served as an assistant coach and camp coordinator for the Dixie State baseball program as well as the head baseball coach at Woods Cross High School in Utah. He has also worked privately with hitters at the professional, college, high school and youth levels.

Javier, 31, will once again serve as the Defensive Coach for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was initially signed by New York as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and played six seasons in the Yankees’ minor league system. 2024 marks the eighth season for Javier as a coach in the organization, having spent time at each level, including serving in the same role for the RailRiders last year.

Casadiego, 43, enters his 12th year within the Yankees organization. After playing 10 seasons in Minor League Baseball, including parts of two seasons at the lower levels for New York, Casadiego moved to the coaching ranks in 2014. In 2021, he served as the pitching coach for the Hudson Valley Renegades and spent 2022 in the same role with the Tampa Tarpons. His pitching staff finished second in strikeouts in their respective leagues the last two seasons.

Downam, 37, returns for a third season as the athletic trainer for New York’s top affiliate and his 12th year within the organization. He joined the Yankees in 2013 as the trainer for Staten Island and also spent three seasons with Charleston from 2014 through 2016. Downam spent five seasons as New York’s Double-A trainer between time in Trenton and Somerset. He attended Liberty University, where he received his B.S. in Athletic Training in 2009 and an M.S. in Sports Administration in 2012.

Smith, 31, joined the Yankees organization in 2017 and has advanced through the ranks. He spent 2017 with Pulaski in the Appalachian League and moved to Staten Island for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. After spending two years with Hudson Valley, including 2021 when he was named the South Atlantic League’s Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year, Smith was promoted to Somerset in 2023. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with a B.S. in Sports Medicine in 2014 and earned his M.S. in Sport and Exercise Science at Gannon University in 2015, where he served as a Graduate Assistant.

Subero, 28, enters her third season with the Yankees organization. She is a graduate of the University of Miami with a B.S. in Athletic Training and earned a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University Chicago. Subero, a Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela native, spent 2022 with the FCL Yankees and was the Tampa Tarpons athletic trainer last season.

“A new Minor League Baseball season is always exciting,” Duncan added. “We go into this year understanding it will be a completely different team. We are excited for those prospects and those challenges and to see the character of this team. On the winning side of things, you start off with a clean slate and get a chance to build something special together. You create that goal for everyone to rally around and try to achieve it. That is something you are always excited about.”

The RailRiders open their 2024 season on March 29 with a three-game weekend set at Buffalo. The home opener is set for April 2 at 6:35 P.M. as the Syracuse Mets come to PNC Field. Season tickets, mini plans and the flex plan are all available now. For more information, contact the RailRiders front office at (570) 969-BALL or click here.