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01/13/2006 3:27 PM ET
Astros announce Minor League field staffs
Moore, Clark, Pankovits, Lind, Langbehn and DeJesus to manage in 2006
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros announced today the field staffs for their minor league affiliates in 2006.

Jackie Moore will return as manager of the Round Rock Express in the team's second year as the Astros Triple A affiliate; Dave Clark will resume his role as manager of Houston's Double A affiliate in Corpus Christi; Jim Pankovits, the Astros minor league defense coordinator for the past five seasons, will take the helm at Class A Salem; Jack Lind has been named the new manager at Class A Lexington; Gregg Langbehn will return for a third season as manager at Short-Season Class A Tri-City; and Ivan DeJesus will move to the Appalachian League and take over as manager at Rookie League Greeneville. Russ Nixon moves into a new role as an Astros minor league roving instructor. The remainder of Houston's minor league coordinators will continue in their same capacities.

The Round Rock Express are set to begin their seventh season under the guidance of manager Jackie Moore and their second as the Triple A Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Astros. Moore led the Express to a 74-70 record in 2005, giving the franchise its fifth winning season in six years of existence. Round Rock has made four postseason appearances from 2000-2005 behind Moore, and he was named the Texas League's Manager of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2004. The 2006 season will mark Moore's 46th consecutive season working in professional baseball.

Former Major League pitcher Burt Hooton returns to the Express for a second consecutive season as pitching coach. Hooton also served as Round Rock's pitching coach for the first half of the 2000 season before joining Houston on June 23, where he remained as the Astros pitching coach for parts of five seasons (2000-04).

Harry Spilman will enter his second season on the Round Rock staff. A former Major League infielder, Spilman served as the Astros hitting coach for parts of five seasons from 2000-04. A 13-year Major League veteran, Spike Owen returns for his fifth season as a coach in Round Rock. Trainer Mike Freer will start his 10th season in the Pacific Coast League and his 17th season overall as a trainer in the Astros minor league system.

Dave Clark returns for a second season as manager of the Corpus Christi Hooks, and he will retain his entire staff from 2005. Under Clark, the Hooks finished their inaugural season in third place in the Texas League's West Division with an overall record of 64-76. Prior to joining the Astros system as Corpus Christi's first manager, he spent five seasons as an instructor, coach and manager in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Clark also played 13 seasons as an outfielder in the Major Leagues, including one season with Houston in 1998.

Joe Slusarski will return for a second season as the Hooks' pitching coach and his fourth season overall as the pitching coach with the Astros Double A affiliate. John Tamargo, Jr. will resume his role as a coach in Corpus Christi. The 2006 season will be Tamargo's third year as a coach in the Astros minor league system, having spent the 2004 season on the staff at Class A Salem. Jamey Snodgrass begins his eighth season in the Houston Astros organization and his second in Corpus Christi.

Jim Pankovits will return to the dugout to manage Class A Salem of the Carolina League. Pankovits has had two previous stints as a minor league manager with the Houston Astros organization as he spent two seasons (1995-96) as manager at Class A Quad City of the Midwest League and two seasons as manager at Double A Jackson (1998-99).

Pankovits was named the Astros minor league infield coordinator in 2000 and served as the club's minor league defense coordinator from 2001-2005. A fourth round draft pick of Houston in 1976, Pankovits spent parts of five seasons as an infielder with the Astros from 1984-88.

Pitching coach Stan Boroski returns to the Avalanche for his fourth season in the same role, and former Astros outfielder Chuck Carr begins his second season as a coach for Salem. Eric Montague will also return for his third season as Salem's athletic trainer and his sixth season overall in the Astros organization.

The Astros named Jack Lind manager of Class A Lexington, marking his first year as a coach in the Houston organization. The 2006 season will be Lind's 34th working in professional baseball, and he spent 2005 as the manager of the Double A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League, leading the club to a 63-79 record. Lind previously served as a Major League scout for Houston from 2001-02, and was the Astros' seventh-round pick in the 1967 Amateur Draft.

Charley Taylor will return to the Legends for his sixth season as pitching coach with the team and his 25th year overall in the Houston system. Rodney Linares will rejoin the staff for his second season as hitting coach for the Legends, after serving as a coach at Short-Season Class A Tri-City in 2004 and a hitting coach for the Astros in the Dominican Republic since 1999. Trainer Mike Smith will enter his third season with Lexington and his sixth total in the Houston organization.

Gregg Langbehn will return for his third season as manager of the Short-Season Class A Tri-City ValleyCats. Behind Langbehn, the ValleyCats finished the 2005 season in third place in the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division, compiling a record of 34-42. Langbehn will be joined by Don Alexander in his second season as the ValleyCats pitching coach.

Joel Chimelis has been named to the staff as a coach. Chimelis has spent the last two seasons as a coach with the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League. The former infielder was originally selected in the 11th round of the 1988 Major League draft by Oakland and spent time in the Oakland, San Francisco and New York Mets minor league systems. John Patton continues for a third season as the team's athletic trainer.

Ivan DeJesus will make the move from Class A Salem of the Carolina League to manage Rookie League Greeneville. DeJesus begins his sixth year as a manager in Houston's minor league system. He brought the Avalanche within one game of the playoffs in 2005 and was named the Carolina League's Manager of the Year at season's end. Veteran minor league pitching coach Bill Ballou will enter his 11th year with the Houston organization and his second with Greeneville, and Pete Rancont will return for a third season as a coach for the Rookie League Astros. J.D. Shields remains as Greeneville's athletic trainer for a third season.

The Astros minor league coordinators will remain the same from the 2005 season, with the exception of Pankovits and the addition of Russ Nixon as a roving instructor. Nixon will begin his 54th year in professional baseball, his fourth in the Astros system and his first in his current role after serving as manager at Greeneville in 2005.

Tom Wiedenbauer will begin his sixth year as the organization's minor league field coordinator; Dewey Robinson starts his 10th season as the minor league pitching coordinator; Sean Berry returns for his second year as the minor league hitting coordinator; Pete Fagan will start his fifth season in the Astros system as the coordinator of training, conditioning and rehabilitation; and Nathan Lucero will return for a fifth year as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator.

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