Drive Kickoff 2023 Season with Hot Stove Event at Urban Wren
WHILE NOT REQUIRED, WE PLEASE ASK THAT YOU RSVP FOR THE HOT STOVE EVENT BY CLICKING HERE. With the start of the Greenville Drive’s 2023 season at Fluor Field less than three months away, the team announced that they will host their annual Hot Stove event on Wednesday, February 8th.
WHILE NOT REQUIRED, WE PLEASE ASK THAT YOU RSVP FOR THE HOT STOVE EVENT BY CLICKING HERE.
With the start of the Greenville Drive’s 2023 season at Fluor Field less than three months away, the team announced that they will host their annual Hot Stove event on Wednesday, February 8th. The complimentary event will be hosted at Urban Wren, located at 116 North Markley Street in Downtown Greenville, beginning at 6 PM.
The special guests for this year’s Hot Stove event are Red Sox Vice President of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Paul Toboni, Red Sox Director of Player Development Brian Abraham, Drive Manager Iggy Suarez, who returns to Greenville for his fifth year, and Bob Kipper, an Upstate native who will once again return to his post as the Drive’s Pitching Coach.
The Hot Stove event will feature complimentary food from the team at Urban Wren, as well as new food items for the Drive season. The Drive will also have new merchandise items for the 2023 season on display and available for purchase. The event will feature Drive Chairman Craig Brown, as well as Drive General Manager Eric Jarinko, welcoming fans and giving them a first look at what to expect at Fluor Field for this season – including specialty jerseys, giveaways, and Community endeavors at the ballpark!
Toboni and Abraham will provide an in-depth look into the state of the Red Sox organization from the major leagues to the minor leagues, while Suarez and Kipper will preview the 2023 Drive season on the field. The group will also participate in a Q&A session with all guests prior to the conclusion of the event.
"The Red Sox player development system plays a crucial role in the success of the major league club and Paul, Brian, Iggy and Bob all play extremely important parts in making Boston's player development system the very best in all of baseball," said Brown. "These four first-class individuals also play a huge role into shaping the roster of talented young players we will see in Greenville this Summer. We are excited to have them at Fluor Field as we approach the 2023 season."
2023 will mark Toboni’s first as Vice President of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, after serving as Boston’s Director of Amateur Scouting for three years. A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, where he was also a member of the baseball team, Toboni later earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He began as an intern in the Red Sox baseball operations department in 2015 before quickly ascending to his current role.
Abraham is beginning his third season as the Red Sox Director of Player Development, and 11th in the Boston organization. A native of Worcester, MA, Abraham previously served as the Director of Minor League Operations for two seasons, and four seasons as Assistant Director of Player Development. A Holy Cross graduate, Abraham spent six seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays organization before joining the Red Sox.
Suarez will serve as the Drive's manager for the fifth straight year in 2023. The 41-year-old has guided a strong group of Red Sox prospects over the last four seasons, including the organization’s top prospect, Marcelo Mayer, in 2022. During Suarez’s four-year tenure in Greenville, eight alumni have played at Fluor Field and gone on to reach the game’s highest level, the Major Leagues.
Prior to joining the Drive, Suarez managed the Lowell Spinners, Boston's short-season affiliate, for two seasons. He led the Spinners to 47-29 record and the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division title in his first season as manager in 2016. His coaching career began in 2015 as the hitting coach in Lowell. A 24th round selection by the Red Sox from Texas State in 2003, he was a fan favorite over seven seasons in the Boston organization, while reaching AAA-Pawtucket in 2009.
The 2023 season will be Kipper's 10th season as Greenville's pitching coach. He returned to Greenville in that role in 2018, and he served in the same roles from 2005-2006 as well as 2008-2009. The 57-year-old served as the Red Sox bullpen coach in 2002, and has also held stints as the pitching coach in AAA-Pawtucket from 2015-2017, as well as in AA-Portland from 2010-2014.
A former first round pick (8th overall) by the California Angels in 1982 out of high school, Kipper spent eight seasons in the major leagues, with seven of those coming with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His best season came in 1989 with the Pirates, where he logged a 2.93 ERA in 52 appearances out of the bullpen.
"The Drive's Hot Stove event is the perfect time to get our organization and our fans ready for the upcoming season at Fluor Field, and welcoming Paul, Brian, Iggy and Bob to Greenville is the perfect way to build up the excitement even more," said Jarinko. "These four have played very different, but important, roles in the success the Red Sox organization has enjoyed over the past few years, and we hope our fans will join us for this night to celebrate the past, present and future of the Drive organization."