The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Latest Sports

December 3, 2013

Astros pitching coach lined up for symposium

Strom to speak at 3-day event sponsored by Upper Deck

The St. Louis Cardinals were able to ride a young pitching staff to the National League pennant. Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha were rookies, and Joe Kelly was in his second season.

On their way to the majors, their development was overseen by Brent Strom, who was the Cardinals’ minor league pitching instructor for four seasons and minor league pitching coordinator for two.

The Cardinals owe much of their success to Strom’s knowledge. Next month, baseball coaches will have their chance to reap the benefits in southern West Virginia.

Strom will be in Beckley as part of a three-day coaching symposium held by Upper Deck Training Center and the West Virginia Miners. The event will be held Jan. 24-26 at a site to be determined. Tim Epling, owner of Upper Deck and manager of the Miners, said a venue will be finalized within the next week.

The Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center and the Country Inn and Suites conference center are possibilities.

Epling and Strom have been friends since 2002, when they met at a coaching symposium in Houston. The two have worked at boot camps at Ron Wolforth’s Baseball Ranch, also in Houston.

“He was with the Montreal Expos at the time,” Epling said. “Through the years we have become good friends. We see each other one or two times a year.”

Strom was hired by the Houston Astros in October to be their pitching coach. It will be his second tour with the Astros, serving in the same capacity in 1996.

He was also the pitching coach in Kansas City in 2000 and 2001.

Epling has used much of what he has learned from Strom in his four seasons as Miners manager. Those philosophies have helped West Virginia to the last two Prospect League championships.

“When you are a college coach (Epling spent seven seasons at WVU Tech), it’s a little different. You’re with the (same) kids three to four years,” Epling said. “The West Virginia Miners are more like professional baseball. You’re dealing with kids from different programs with different styles. I have learned from him how to deal with the pitchers, how to deal with pitch counts and that sort of thing.

“When he was with the Cardinals organization those six years, that speaks for itself. All that experience that he has, we have talked about how to set up hitters and things to look for. ... I would not be where I am if not for Brent.”

Epling is excited for the opportunity local coaches will have by hearing Strom’s expertise.

“We’re going to be getting this information out to college coaches, to high school coaches, Little League coaches, travel coaches — it’s not for just a select group,” he said. “Anybody who coach’s baseball has this opportunity. We will speak on different topics. We’ll talk about hitting, we’ll talk about how to move a position player who has to pitch — if he pitches today, what do you do with him tomorrow? We’ll speak about how to not get them hurt and have the maximum benefit from them.”

Epling said there will also be a question-and-answer session with Strom and other speakers.

All details, including site, cost and additional speakers, should be finalized in the coming days.

For more information, call Epling at 304-673-2519. Information will also be posted soon on the Upper Deck website,

— E-mail: gfauber and follow on Twitter


Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072514 Loomis The Greenbrier impresses Payton, Loomis

    When a deal was finalized on March 13 to bring the New Orleans Saints to The Greenbrier for three weeks of summer camp, Saints officials never doubted that the facility would be ready a little more than four months later for the first practice. INCLUDES VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 1 Hess Former Mountain Lions playing well at Open

    In sports like basketball or football, home field advantage can be the ultimate difference maker. The same can be said in golf.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WV Open 2 Westfall Evans leads the field on rainy day at W.Va. Open

    The wind picked up, the rain started to fall and the scores were low at second round of the 81st West Virginia Open. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp