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Lynchburg Hillcats announce 2020 coaching staff

Lynchburg HillcatsThe new manager of the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats is celebrating his own MiLB promotion.

Dennis Malavé will skipper the ‘Cats in 2020, in his 16th year in the Cleveland Indians organization, including a six-year stint as a player in the Indians system.

Malavé got the call up to High-A after serving as manager for the short-season Indians club in Mahoning Valley in 2019.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity to be with the Hillcats’ this year and continue working in the Cleveland system,” Malavé said. “This organization in Lynchburg is such a great place for players to succeed and get better because of the tremendous support from the community.”

Joining Malavé on the 2020 staff will be Owen Dew, the new pitching coach, Grant Fink, who will take over as the club’s hitting coach, and Juan De La Cruz, who will serve as the bench coach.

Dew, 31, joins the Hillcats after spending last year as the pitching coach at Low-A Lake County. Dew was drafted by the Indians in the 21st round of the 2010 MLB Draft after playing collegiately at Central Florida. Dew played four minor league seasons with the Indians before becoming an assistant coach at Seminole State College of Florida.

He has been with Cleveland in a coaching role since 2017.

Fink, 29, returns to the Hillcats after serving as the team’s bench coach in 2018. He is entering his fourth season as a coach in the Indians organization.

The former infielder was drafted by Cleveland in the 23rd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Missouri Western State University. Fink played three minor league seasons for the Indians from 2013-2015.

Fink was the hitting coach last season in Mahoning Valley.

De La Cruz, 26, joins Lynchburg’s coaching staff for the first time. The former catcher played in the minor leagues for Cleveland from 2010-2017, including parts of the ’15, ’16 and ’17 seasons with the Hillcats.

De La Cruz is in his third year coaching with the Indians and spent last season as the bench coach in Double-A Akron.

Jake Legan returns to the Hillcats’ staff for his second consecutive year as the team’s athletic trainer, his sixth with the Indians. Eric Ortego returns for the third straight year as Lynchburg’s strength and conditioning coach, his fourth season overall with Cleveland.