Smokies name Jimmy Gonzalez 2019 manager

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Tennessee Smokies have announced that Jimmy Gonzalez will be the Manager of the Tennessee Smokies for the 2019 season. The staff move comes after former Smokies Manager, Mark Johnson, has been promoted to Catching Coordinator for the Chicago Cubs.

Gonzalez joins the Tennessee Smokies after managing Single-A South Bend for the previous four seasons. 2019 will mark Gonzalez’s seventh year within the Cubs organization, and first with Double-A Tennessee. Gonzalez was named the 2016 Midwest League Manager of the Year while in South Bend.

“I’m excited to be heading to Tennessee where I’ve heard nothing but good things from people that have been there,” Added Smokies Manager Jimmy Gonzalez. “I’m looking forward to working at the beautiful ballpark and working with the front office staff. I am looking forward to being a part of this baseball club, but also a part of the community as well.”

Jimmy Gonzalez comes from a long career in professional baseball. Gonzalez was selected in the first round of the 1991 MLB draft by the Houston Astros. The catcher played 14 years in the minor leagues, spending time with the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, and New York Mets Organizations.

“This is a bittersweet moment for us,” Stated Boyd Sports President and COO Chris Allen. “Mark Johnson has become a fixture here in Tennessee over the past three seasons, however we are excited for him on his promotion to catching coordinator. We are very excited to have Jimmy Gonzalez join our club this year, as he has a tremendous track record as a player and manager. We can’t wait to have him here in Kodak, and give him a warm Tennessee welcome.”

Mark Johnson has spent the past three seasons as the manager for the Tennessee Smokies. Moving onto the Catching Coordinator role for the Cubs, this will mark his ninth season with the Cubs Organization.

The Smokies will commence their 2019 home campaign against the Mississippi Braves on Thursday, April 4, 2019. The full schedule for next season and season ticket information can be found online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.