On Thursday it was announced that Ray Burris will be the new pitching coach for the Triple A Lehigh Valley Ironpigs. He spent the 2012 season in a similar role with the Erie SeaWolves , the Double A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers in the Eastern League. The 62 year old Burris was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1972 and made his big league debut in 1973. He pitched in the major leagues for 15 seasons and finished his career with 108 wins and 134 losses. His best years with the Cubs came from 1975 to 1977. In 1975 he was 15-10 4.12, in 1976 he again won 15 games while losing 13 with an ERA of 3.11 and in 1977 he was 14-16 4.72. He started 39 games that year which was third most in the National League behind only Phil Niekro of the Braves and Steve Rogers of the Expos. The Cubs traded Burris to the Yankees for Dick Tidrow in 1979 and after a short stay with the Yankees he pitched for the Mets, Expos, Athletics, Brewers and Cardinals. He pitched in the postseason in 1981 for Montreal, losing Game 3 of the NLDS to Larry Christenson and the Phillies by a 6-2 score and then started 2 games vs. the Dodgers in the NLCS going 1-0 0.53 in 2 starts. He threw a complete game shutout in Game 2, defeating Fernando Valenzuela by a 3-0 score. In game 5 of the best of 5 series he went 8 innings and allowed just 1 run in a game the Expos eventually lost by a 2-1 score. In his 15 year big league career he threw 10 shutouts, 4 of them coming during the 1976 season.
I’m sure Ray will be a welcome addition to the 2013 Lehigh Valley Ironpigs coaching staff. He should have some good young talent to work with.
In other Phillies minor league news, Andy Tracy has been promoted to the position of Minor League Hitting Coordinator. Sounds like a good opportunity for Andy. It also means the Phillies will be searching for a new manager for the Williamsport Crosscutters.