RENO, Nev. – The Reno Aces, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, have announced Chris Cron as Reno’s 2019 manager. With the hire, Cron becomes the Aces fourth manager in franchise history. Joining Cron will be pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru, hitting coach Jason Camilli and coach Greg Gross. Rounding out the support staff will be trainer Paul Porter and strength and conditioning coach Steven Candelaria.
Cron, 54, enters his 35th season in professional baseball and sixth season in the Diamondbacks organization. With 19 years of managerial experience, Cron has won Manager of the Year honors two times; Carolina League (1998) and Pioneer League (2008). He has led his teams to eight playoff appearances (1997-98, 2005, ’07-10, 2013) and won the Pioneer League Championship in 2008. Cron enters 2019 with a 1,127-1,149 (.495) managerial record.
As a player, Cron appeared in six games with the California Angels in 1991 and six games for the Chicago White Sox in 1992. He played 12 Minor League seasons with the Braves (1984-86), Angels (1987-91), White Sox (1992-93, ’95), and Indians (1994). He hit .268 with 251 doubles, 172 home runs, and 785 RBI in 1,250 games and was selected in the second round of the 1984 draft out of Santa Ana, California.
Cron resides in Ahwatukee, Arizona and has three children, C.J., Kevin, and Carly. His son, C.J., was the Angels’ first-round selection (17th overall) in 2011 and made his Major League debut in 2014. Kevin was the D-backs’ 14th-round selection in 2014 and was the organization’s 2017 player of the year. Kevin spent all of the 2018 campaign in Reno. He earned two Player of the Week awards for the Aces, was named a Post-Season All-Star in the Pacific Coast League and named an Organization All-Star by MiLB.com.
“Chris has spent a great deal of time in Reno over the past five years and we are excited to have him at the helm full-time in 2019,” said Emily Jaenson, Aces General Manager. “Chris follows in great footsteps of Brett Butler, Phil Nevin, and Greg Gross. I am confident he will represent the Aces well on the field and in our community.”
Greg Gross returns for his seventh season in Reno after spending 2010-2012 as the hitting coach of the Philadelphia Phillies. Under Gross, the Aces have consistently been among the Pacific Coast League’s best in numerous offensive categories. As the Aces manager, Gross had a record of 152-130 and won the Pacific Northern Division championship in 2017. He and his wife, Konnie, reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and have two children, Megan and Michael.
Jason Camilli enters his second season as Reno’s hitting coach and eighth in the D-backs’ organization. He began his coaching career as a minor league instructor in the Washington Nationals organization while also working as a fielding and hitting instructor for a baseball academy in the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ area. Camilli joined the Arizona Diamondbacks organization as the hitting coach of the Yakima Bears in 2012 and progressed to the South Bend Silver Hawks in 2013, Visalia Rawhide in 2014, Mobile BayBears in 2015-2016 and Jackson Generals in 2017. Camilli had two top-10 PCL hitters last season and saw Ildemaro Vargas set the longest hitting streak in franchise history (35 games). He and his wife, Megan, reside in Peoria, Arizona with their two daughters, Jadyn and Jordyn.
Jeff Bajenaru enters his first season with Reno and ninth season in the Diamondbacks organization. Bajenaru was named the 2017 California League Coach of the Year as his Visalia pitching staff led the league in ERA, strikeouts WHIP, and opponents average. In 2015, he was the pitching coach for Missoula, which won the Pioneer League championship. During his playing career, Bajenaru appeared in 14 Major League games with the White Sox (2004-05) and D-backs (2006). In 2006, he played for the Tucson Sidewinders and won the Triple-A and Pacific Coast League championship. He and his wife, Alysa, have two children, Joe and Leila, and reside in Arlington, Texas.