The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have they have hired two new coaches, bringing in Tyler Martin to be their pitching coach and former catcher Toby DeMello to be their bullpen coach for the upcoming 2018 season.
Martin comes to the Miners with a wealth of coaching experience, having been the Associate Head Coach and Pitching Coach at Robert Morris University in Illinois for the last three years. In his first two seasons with the Eagles, Martin has mentored a pair of pitchers to CCAC All-Conference honors.
He previously served as pitching coach at his alma mater, Cardinal Stritch University, where he helped the Wolves to their first-ever CCAC conference tournament appearance and coached three CCAC all-conference pitchers. His resume also includes a managerial stint in summer collegiate baseball with the Sheboygan A's in the Wisconsin State League and Langsdorf League in 2014-15, coaching them to the Langsdorf League title while also being named the 2014 Wisconsin State League Manager of the Year.
As a player, Martin pitched his final two collegiate seasons at Cardinal Stritch after starting at Kankakee Community College. Originally from Pekin, Illinois, after college, he pitched one season for the Eau Claire Cavaliers in the Wisconsin State League, and was voted runner-up for the league's Pitcher of the Year Award while throwing the seventh no-hitter in the team's history.
"Tyler will be a tremendous addition to our staff," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "He is knowledgeable, organized, and communicates well. Our pitchers are going to enjoy working with him."
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to join such a great organization," Martin added. "I am grateful to get to work for such a well-respected manager in Mike Pinto, and with a dedicated coaching staff. I can't wait to get to work with the strong pitching staff that has been assembled, and I look forward to a successful 2018 season."
DeMello returns to Southern Illinois after playing for the Miners in 2015-16, joining former teammate Steve Marino on Mike Pinto's staff. The Roseville, California native played three years in the Seattle Mariners organization before coming to the Miners, and would see action in 144 games in black and gold, amassing 97 hits, 49 runs scored, 10 homers and 46 RBIs. A strong defensive backstop who earned a midseason all-star nod in 2015, DeMello made just 10 errors in over 1,100 chances behind the plate as a Miner, and used his arm to nab 32 percent of would-be base-stealers over two years, including 41% (20 of 49) in 2016.
As bullpen coach, DeMello will assist with game planning and strategy, work with the Miners' catchers, and prepare pitchers for in-game performance in the bullpen. He has served as an assistant coach since retiring in 2016, first at Sierra College and most-recently at Occidental College in his home state of California.
"I am very glad to have Toby back with us," Pinto said. "He will fill a lot of roles for us. As a two-season former Miner and all-star, he knows our systems and expectations and will be a big help to our team."
"I'm excited to be back with the Miners," DeMello added. "It's a first-class organization, and I am looking forward to the opportunity. Mike has done a tremendous job, and I hope to uphold the gold standard that has been set over the years."
Be sure to follow the Miners on Facebook, Twitter (@SIMiners), Instagram and Snapchat, and also online at southernillinoisminers.com as they prepare for the 2018 season at Rent One Park!
The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League's winningest franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.siminers.com.