Chattanooga Lookouts Name Tommy Watkins New Manager
(lookouts.com) CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Minnesota Twins have announced that Tommy Watkins will be the manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts for the upcoming 2018 season. Watkins will be joined by returning hitting coach Javier Valentin and returning pitching coach Ivan Arteaga. Rounding out the staff is trainer Alan Rail, who will be entering his first year with the team after being the trainer for the Fort Myers Miracle for four seasons, and last year’s strength and conditioning coach, Ryan Grose.
“Chattanooga was very welcoming to me in 2016 and I am thrilled to be back,” Watkins said. “Double-A is a wonderful opportunity and I am excited to work with Javier and Ivan.”
Watkins joins the Lookouts after spending the previous season as the manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels where he posted a record of 75-65 and led the Kernels to the Midwest League Semifinals. 2017 was Watkins first year as a manager. Prior to helming the Kernels, Watkins spent time as the Lookouts hitting coach in 2016 and the Kernels hitting coach from 2013-15. The former Twins player takes over for Jake Mauer who retired from coaching after leading the Lookouts to the 2017 Southern League Championship.
Coaching alongside Watkins this season are Javier Valentin and Ivan Arteaga, who both return to the Lookouts. Valentin guided a Lookouts offense that posted the third highest average (.255), scored the most runs (659) and drew the most walks (610). The Lookouts pitching staff also had a magnificent year. Under Arteaga the team had a league-best 3.09 ERA and a league-high 46 saves.
Watkins’ first game as manager takes place at home on April 5 when the Lookouts faceoff against the Birmingham Barons at 6:15 p.m. at AT&T Field.