Veteran Express manager will have new hitting, pitching coaches


Jason Wood will return for his fourth year managing the Round Rock Express, but he’ll break in a new hitting and pitching coach.

Howard Johnson, a popular third baseman with the New York Mets for nine years, is the new hitting coach. He replaced Jim Presley, who is no longer with the Texas Rangers organization.

Brian Shouse, who had a 10-year major-league career as a left-handed reliever, takes over pitching duties. Greg Hibbard, last year’s Express pitching coach, is trading duties with Shouse, who worked with the Double-A Frisco staff in 2016.

Johnson, 57, has enjoyed success the past two years as a Rangers’ Single-A manager. He directed High Desert to the 2016 California League championship and then led Down East to a Carolina League co-title in a Hurricane Irma-shortened season.

HoJo, as he was called in his playing days, was a two-time All-Star who hit 228 home runs, including a five-year stretch with the Mets where he pounded 157 long balls and drove 473 runs.

Shouse, 49, pitched with the Rangers from 2003-06 and had a 3.72 ERA over 467 MLB appearances. He’s been in Frisco the last two years.

Wood, 47, has a 215-210 record in Round Rock and has five playoff trips in seven years as a manager in the Rangers system, although just one postseason bid in three years with the Express.

Returning with Wood are bench coach Geno Petralli, trainer Carlos Olivas and strength coach Eric McMahon.

Round Rock opens the season Thursday, April 5, at home against Memphis. Season tickets and flex plans are on sale now.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Stewart Mandel predicts whether Jalen Hurts will be with Alabama for season opener
Stewart Mandel predicts whether Jalen Hurts will be with Alabama for season opener

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel offered his prediction for whether Jalen Hurts will be with Alabama when the Crimson Tide open the season against Louisville on Sept. 1. On Wednesday, the college football analyst gave Hurts a 70-percent chance of being part of the Crimson Tide when Alabama begins defense of its...
Top TE target Luke Deal dishes on Midwest tour, what he expects from Auburn official visit
Top TE target Luke Deal dishes on Midwest tour, what he expects from Auburn official visit

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers  football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Wednesday, and SEC Country spoke with top tight end target Luke Deal to get the latest on his Midwest official visit tour and what he expects from his upcoming Auburn...
Central Texas hole-in-one listings

Stephen Frey Jr., 9-iron, 142-yard 8th hole at Austin Country Club; witnesses: Howard Lipson, Skeeter Miller, Jeff Hunt Tony Gulla, 9-iron, 136-yard 10th hole at Lost Creek; witness: Denis Shortt Mike Veazey, 6-iron, 157-yard 7th hole at Teravista; witnesses: Richard Medina, Ken Johnson, Jason Williamson Submit holes-in-one via email at sportsdesk@statesman...
Arkansas continues push for OL boost with JUCO target officially visiting soon
Arkansas continues push for OL boost with JUCO target officially visiting soon

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss two upcoming official visitors and a second trip to a prominent junior college program in as many weeks. Arkansas will host junior college offensive lineman Christian...
Priority RB target John Emery Jr. talks LSU, commitment timeline
Priority RB target John Emery Jr. talks LSU, commitment timeline

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting , with Sam Spiegelman. It&rsquo...
More Stories