Modesto Nuts

Cal League Manager of the Year Canham will return to lead Modesto Nuts

Manager Mitch Canham and two members of his coaching staff will return to guide the Modesto Nuts for a second season, the Seattle Mariners announced Thursday.

Canham was named the California League’s Manager of the Year in 2017 after guiding Modesto to its first league title since 2004, when the club was an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

This will be Canham’s third season with the Seattle organization. In 2016, his first year managing in the Mariners’ chain, Canham led the Clinton LumberKings to the Midwest League championship series, where they eventually fell Great Lakes 3-1.

Also returning will be pitching coach Pete Woodworth and hitting coach Joe Thurston.

Under Woodworth, the Nuts’ had a team WHIP of 1.31, tied for best in the league, and a 4.14 team ERA, fourth best in the loop.

Right-handed prospect Nick Neidert flourished under Woodworth, going 10-3 with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 109 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings pitched. He earned a midseason call-up to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League.

Modesto recorded a team batting average of .262 under Thurston, just three points behind second-place Inland Empire (Lancaster blew away the rest of the league with a .308 mark). The Nuts ranked first in the Cal League with most base on balls (527) and second in the league with least amount of strikeouts (1,121).

Eric Filia finished an impressive year at the dish under Thurston’s tutelage, with a slash line of .326/.407/.841.

The 2018 season begins on Thursday, April 5, when the Nuts travel to Lancaster and the home opener at John Thurman Field is scheduled for April 12 against Visalia.

It was also announced Thursday that the Modesto Nuts received California League’s Excellence in Community Service award. The award is selected by league owners and general managers and is given to the franchise that displays a commitment to various charities within their community.

“Community involvement has always been a focal point of our mission statement,” said Mike Gorrasi, Nuts executive vice president. “Everyone in the organization gives their time and talent to important causes and programs in Stanislaus County.”