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Sports

Baseball: Cougars name former MLB 1B/C Blake Lalli new manager

The 34-year-old played with Cubs in 2012

Blake Lalli was named as the Kane County Cougars 19th manager in franchise history Wednesday. Photo is courtesy of the organization's news release.
Blake Lalli was named as the Kane County Cougars 19th manager in franchise history Wednesday. Photo is courtesy of the organization's news release.

GENEVA – The Kane County Cougars announced its field staff additions for the upcoming season on Wednesday, headlined by former major leaguer Blake Lalli as the 19th manager in franchise history.

Lalli, a former prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in 2014-15, finished his major league career after spending last season with the Atlanta Braves. The 34-year-old spent time the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs (2012) and Milwaukee Brewers (2013).

The 34-year-old Pittsburgh-native played in 32 career MLB games, knocking in five RBI on seven hits in 52 plate appearances.

Lalli's staff will include pitching coach Rich Sauveur, hitting coach Rick Short, athletic trainer Kelly Boyce, strength coach Scott Shipman and coach Jorge Cortes.

Sauveur is the lone holdover coach from the previous staff, and will serve for his third season in Kane County.

Short is in his first season as hitting coach after spending the last eight seasons as a scout within the Diamondbacks system. The Elgin-native was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1994 after spending three years at Western Illinois.

Cortes will enter his third season with the organization, and spent last season at short-season-A Hillsboro, the release states.

The Cougars are the Diamondbacks' Low-A affiliate, and Geneva was named by SmartAsset in October among the best minor league baseball towns in the United States.

Furthermore, the team finished third in the Midwest League Western division overall standings, and fell in the division series against Cedar Rapids last season.

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