LINCOLN — The Saltdogs have hired former big leaguers Dan Reichert and John Harris to round out new manager Ken Oberkfell’s coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Reichert is the new pitching coach in Lincoln. The 36-year old is a former first round draft pick out of University of the Pacific and pitched five seasons in Major League Baseball for the Royals and Blue Jays. Reichert played for the Saltdogs in 2007, going 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA.
"I love the fans out here, the front office, they are some of the best in the country," Reichert said. "I’m very excited about getting this club together to win another championship."
Harris, who spent parts of three seasons in the late ’70s and early ’80s as a California Angel, is the new hitting coach for the ‘Dogs. The 58-year old was most recently manager of the Amarillo Sox of the American Association in the 2011-12 campaigns.
"Lincoln is a first class place," Harris said. "I’m very much looking forward to working with Ken and Dan on the field, and [VP/GM] Tim [Utrup] off the field. I really appreciate the opportunity to come here and be able to coach."
Reichert grew up in Turlock, Calif. but has made Lincoln his home since 2007. The right-hander played professionally for 14 seasons, including five years at the Big League level and 2011 in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. He played his final season in 2012 for Southern Maryland of the Atlantic League.
"I’ve learned so many great things over the course of my playing career," Reichert said. "Now it’s about passing on life lessons to the next generation while playing the game of baseball. I’ve really enjoyed mentoring the younger pitchers during my later playing days and am very excited about becoming the Saltdogs’ pitching coach."
Harris, a native of Portland, Ore., hit .258 with five home runs in 58 career games with the Angels. He posted a .308 batting average with 97 home runs and 562 RBI in nine seasons of minor league ball.
"The American Association plays a great brand of ball, it is extremely competitive," Harris said. "The players that shine in this league have a great chance to get picked up by MLB organizations. It just keeps getting better every year."
Harris managed several different clubs in the Texas-Louisiana League from 1999-2007. He then served as hitting coach in Edmonton (Golden League) in 2008 before joining the Sioux Falls Canaries staff in 2009 and Shreveport-Bossier in 2010.
John Harris’ Baseball Reference profile:
Dan Reichert’s Baseball Reference profile: