Kenny Holmberg Named Manager as Express Return to Texas Rangers Organization
ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced the organization’s minor league coaching staffs for the 2021 season on Wednesday morning, including that of the Round Rock Express. Making his Triple-A coaching debut, Manager Kenny Holmberg will conduct the E-Train during the club’s first season back with the Rangers.
Joining Holmberg on his staff in Round Rock are Pitching Coach Bill Simas, Hitting Coach Chase Lambin, Athletic Trainer Carlos Olivas and Strength and Conditioning Coach Wade Lamont.
The 2021 season will mark Holmberg’s 13th year in the Rangers organization. In 2020, he worked with Rangers prospects at the Alternate Training Site in Arlington, as well as the Fall Developmental League in Arizona. Round Rock will be the fourth different club for which Holmberg has managed in the Rangers farm system after serving at the helm of Short-Season Spokane in 2018, the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers from 2013-2015 and the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Rangers from 2010-2011. He has compiled a 207-172 (.546) record while leading his clubs to the postseason in four his six managerial campaigns, including a Northwest League championship series appearance in 2018. He originally joined the Texas organization as a coach for the DSL Rangers in 2009 and also served as a coach for the club’s High-A affiliate in Myrtle Beach in 2012. In addition to his managerial post for the Express, Holmberg will also serve as the Rangers’ Major League Infield Coordinator in 2021.
An infielder in his playing days, Holmberg was selected by Milwaukee in the 22nd round of the 2005 MLB draft and played four seasons in the Brewers organization. He compiled a .272 average with 34 home runs and 187 RBI over 338 career minor league games. Holmberg was also selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 49th round of the 2001 MLB draft out of Dunedin High School but opted to play collegiately at St. Petersburg College from 2002-2003. He then spent two seasons at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning first-team NAIA All-America honors in 2005.
Holmberg and his wife Jenni reside in Smithville, Missouri, with their two sons, William and Cooper. His father Dennis has spent over 40 years in player development with the Blue Jays organization and was inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame in 2018.
A former Major League pitcher, Simas enters his first season in the Texas organization and his 11th overall as an instructor. Simas spent the last 10 seasons as a coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, tutoring pitchers at Rookie-level Ogden from 2011-2012, Class-A Great Lakes from 2013-2014, High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015, Double-A Tulsa from 2016-2017 and Triple-A Oklahoma City from 2018-2020. During his time with the Los Angeles organization, he worked with multiple pitchers that contributed to the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series champion club.
The right-hander played 13 seasons of affiliated baseball, including six campaigns at the Major League level with the Chicago White Sox from 1995-2000. Simas posted a career 18-19 record, 3.83 ERA and 23 saves in the big leagues and his 308 career relief outings still rank as eighth-most in White Sox franchise history.
A native of California, Simas was selected by the California Angels in the sixth round of the 1992 MLB draft out of Fresno City College. He pitched in the Angels system until he was traded to the White Sox on July 27, 1995. He also spent time with the Dodgers (2003) and Seattle Mariners (2004) organizations, Monclova of the Mexican League (2005) and Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican Winter League (2008-2011). Simas concluded his playing career with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League in 2010 at the age of 38.
Lambin is set to make his Triple-A coaching debut in 2021 during his seventh season in the Texas organization. He spent 2020 as a member of the Rangers’ Fall Developmental League coaching staff after previously serving as a hitting coach for High-A Down East in 2019, Class-A Hickory in 2018, Short-Season Spokane in 2017 and the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers in 2016. He first joined the Texas organization as a member of the Spokane coaching staff in 2015.
Lambin’s coaching tenure follows a playing career that spanned 13 seasons at the minor league level. He concluded his time on the field in 2014 with Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League, playing in 106 games with the Skeeters. Lambin was selected by the New York Mets in the 34th round of the 2002 MLB draft out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and played in the Mets (2002-2006), Florida/Miami Marlins (2007-2008, 2012), Washington Nationals (2010), Minnesota Twins (2011) and Kansas City Royals (2013) organizations. He also spent the 2009 season with Chiba Lotte in Japan. The versatile defender appeared at every position except catcher over the course of his career. Lambin and his wife Sara reside in Georgetown, Texas and have two children, Chase and Stella.
Olivas returns to Round Rock for his sixth season at the Triple-A level and 13th season overall in the Texas organization. He spent the abbreviated 2020 campaign at the club’s Alternate Training Site in Arlington. Prior to spending the 2019 campaign with Triple-A Nashville, Olivas served as Round Rock’s Athletic Trainer from 2016-2018 during the club’s first stint with the Rangers.
Before to moving to Triple-A, Olivas spent five seasons as the Athletic Trainer for Double-A Frisco from 2011-2015, where he was selected as the Texas League Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in both 2012 and 2013. He spent the 2009 and 2010 campaigns at Short-Season Spokane after eight years in the Dodgers organization from 2001-2008. He served in the same capacity for Double-A Jacksonville in 2006 and 2008, High-A Vero Beach in 2005, Class-A Columbus from 2003-2004, Class-A South Georgia in 2002 and Rookie-level Great Falls in 2001. Olivas held athletic training internships with both the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in 2000, as well as for the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes from 1999-2000.
Olivas graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. He and his wife Toni reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico and have two daughters, Mia and Emily.
The 2021 season will mark Lamont’s 10th year in the Texas organization and first at the Triple-A level. In 2020, he served on the Rangers’ Alternate Training Site staff. Lamont’s previous stops in the organization include four seasons at Double-A Frisco from 2017-2019, another four at Class-A Hickory from 2013-2016 and one season with the Rookie-level Arizona League Rangers in 2012.
He was selected in the 29th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers and spent three seasons in the club’s farm system. He finished the 2009 campaign with Windy City of the independent Frontier League. The Florida native batted .320 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI as a junior at Flagler College. His father Gene played parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Detroit Tigers and managed eight years with the White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Additional information regarding Round Rock’s 2021 schedule, league structure, roster and ticketing procedure will be announced in the near future.
To view the full lineup of a variety of special events coming to Dell Diamond in 2021, visit RRExpress.com/Events. For more information about the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!