Chad Rhoades, who served as the Freedom’s Pitching Coach in 2015, has accepted a job as a Pitching Coach with the Batavia Muckdogs, the Class A Short Season Affiliate of the Miami Marlins.

“I was really excited to get the call because this is definitely the next evolution in what I want to do in my life,” Rhoades said. “At the same time it’s bittersweet because it’s hard to leave Dennis [Pelfrey], A.J. [Cicconi], Brian [White], and the pitching staff in Florence.”

Last season, his first with the Freedom, Rhoades helped Florence’s pitching staff to improvements in ERA (3.69), opponents’ batting average (.242), opponents’ slugging percentage (.357), and WHIP (1.27). The Freedom ranked fifth-or better among Frontier League teams in all four statistics and had its best team ERA since the team moved to Florence.

“The season we had as a pitching staff last year was really special and the guys deserve all the credit,” Rhoades said. “To watch them buy into our philosophy and improve the way they did is what impressed me the most. I love that pitching staff.”

Freedom manager Dennis Pelfrey thinks Rhoades’ ability to help each pitcher individually was a large part of the Freedom’s pitching prowess in 2015.

“Last season was arguably the best pitching season in Freedom history and Chad played a big role in our success on the mound,” Pelfrey said. “Chad does a great job of adapting to each individual pitcher’s needs. Whether it’s a mental tweak or a small adjustment to mechanics, he has a way of making every pitcher better. With the caliber of coach that Chad is, I am not surprised to see him move up the ladder so quickly.”

To keep up with all the latest Florence Freedom news and learn about exclusive deals and contests, make sure to like the team on Facebook and follow the team on Twitter.  Single game tickets are now available and can be purchased here. Great seats are still available for Opening Day and the 2016 Frontier League Y’all Star Game.

The Florence Freedom are members of the 12-team professional Independent Frontier League and play a 96 game schedule, with 48 home games at UC Health Stadium, located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, Kentucky. In 2015, the Frontier League recognized the Freedom as the league’s organization of the year and awarded the team with the league’s All-Star event. The 2016 season will mark the 14th year the Freedom have played in Florence.