WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the hiring of former Goldeyes pitcher Jamie Vermilyea as the team's new pitching coach.
Vermilyea, 30, spent his first season after retiring from professional baseball last season as the manager of the Maui Na Koa Ikaika (Maui Strong Warriors). He led the team to a 36-30 record in the independent North American League and a berth in the playoffs.
"I am thrilled to have Jamie back," Forney said. "I wanted to find somebody that I was familiar with and that was familiar with the organization as well. Jamie was the first person that came to mind.
"Jamie is very easy to talk to, very in touch with everybody. He's not that far removed from pitching, which I think helps because he's going to be able to relate to everybody. He pitched at a high level, so he can relate to veteran players as well as the younger players. I think he's just perfect for the job."
A ninth-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003 out of the University of New Mexico, Vermilyea played his final professional season with the Goldeyes in 2011. He posted a 3-3 record, 1.81 ERA and 17 saves in 45 appearances out of the bullpen as the team's closer. His 45 appearances in 2011 are tied for the second most all-time by a Goldeyes pitcher in a season behind Brian Beuning's 51 appearances in 2008.
Vermilyea played seven seasons in Toronto's organization and made two appearances in the big leagues as a September call up with the Blue Jays in 2007. His minor league career included parts of four seasons at Triple-A.
"I am definitely excited to be heading back up to Winnipeg," Vermilyea said. "I am leaving a place in Maui where I have much gratitude towards them for giving me a chance to manage one of their teams.
"Being more specific towards being a pitching coach is going to help me out. I can implement what I would like to have happen with the pitching staff."