By HERB SWETT
Of the Keizertimes

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes officials and players met Saturday, June 9 in Salem in preparation for the 2018 season, which starts Friday, June 15.

Saturday’s gathering at the Comfort Suites on Hawthorne Street was for paperwork, introduction of a new manager and coach and other club officials, and a discussion of policies by Jerry Howard, senior marketing executive.

The new manager is Hector Borg, a former Volcanoes infield instructor who last year led the Arizona League Giants to the AZL Championship Series. The new pitching coach is Dwight Bernard, who held that position for the AAA Sacramento River Cats from 2014 through 2017. Jake Fox, who was a utility player with four years in the major leagues, with the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, and Oakland Athletics, is the new hitting coach. The fundamentals coach, Mark Hallberg, coached in the Cape Cod League for four years.

Also new is the training staff. Charlene Wichman, the athletic trainer, was the trainer for the AZL Giants last year. Joe Palazzolo, the strength and conditioning coach, is new to the San Francisco Giants organization.

Jolbert Cabrera, who managed the Volcanoes last year, is now managing the class A Augusta Green Jackets. Matt Yourkin, who was pitching coach, now has that position with the advanced A San Jose Giants. Ricky Ward, last year’s hitting coach, is no longer in the Giants organization.

Among the Volcanoes staffers at the meeting was Judy Fromherz, host family coordinator, who said a few more host homes were needed for this year’s Volcanoes.

Eleven of last year’s Volcanoes are returning. They are pitchers Stetson Woods, Greg Jacknewitz, Alejandro de la Rosa, and Sidney Duprey; catchers Chris Corbett and Will Albertson, catcher-infielder Dylan Manwaring; infielders Robinson Medrano and Kevin Rivera; outfielders Mikey Edie and Chris Burks; and outfielder-first baseman Dalton Combs.

The new Volcanoes are pitchers Gregory Santos, Norwith Gudino, Jesus Tona, and Zach Becherer; catchers Ricardo Genoves and Will Albertson; infielders Nico Giarratano, Trevor Abrams, Wander Franco, and Kyle McPherson; and outfielders Jose Layer and Diego Rincones.

Santos, Woods, Gudino, and Jacknewitz are the starting pitchers, with Jacknewitz the only lefthander. Of the other pitchers, Duprey is the only lefthanded reliever.

Salem-Keizer hosts Tri-City in its first weekend series. Fireworks will conclude Friday’s game and legendary pitcher Jamie Moyer will sign autographs Saturday.

Both games begin at 6:35 p.m. Sunday is Father’s Day with first pitch at 5:05 p.m. The Volcanoes series with Tri-City will continue into Monday and Tuesday with 6:35 starts.