(Central Islip, N.Y., April 4, 2023) – The Long Island Ducks today announced Luis “Machete” Rodriguez has been named the team’s pitching coach for the 2023 season. Rodriguez, recently named to the Atlantic League’s 25th Anniversary Team, replaces Nelson Figueroa, who informed the Ducks he will be stepping down for an opportunity in the broadcast media industry.

“I am excited to take on a new role as a pitching coach and share all of my experience and expertise with the players and staff,” said Rodriguez. “It is an honor to head back to the team where I started my Atlantic League career.”

Rodriguez originally joined the Ducks in 2004 as the team’s catcher. In 59 games that season, he batted .290 with seven home runs, 39 RBIs, 28 runs, 64 hits, 13 doubles, three triples and a .349 on-base percentage. Defensively, he threw out 30% of runners attempting to steal and was known as ‘Machete’ for his ability to cut down base runners with his strong arm. The Venezuela native went on to help the Ducks win their first Atlantic League championship that postseason.

The 49-year-old went on to fashion a 10-year ALPB playing career, spending time with the Nashua Pride in 2005 and the Bridgeport Bluefish from 2008-15. After serving exclusively as a catcher, he became a player-coach in Bridgeport in 2012. and later went on to manage the club in 2016 and 2017. The Endicott, N.Y., resident caught 788 games in his Atlantic League career, more than any other player in league history, and ranks 12th all-time in games played with 816. He also earned an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection in 2010 when the game was played on Long Island.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball. Over 8.5 million fans have enjoyed the Ducks brand of affordable, fun entertainment at Fairfield Properties Ballpark since inception in 2000. For further information, visit LIDucks.com or call 631-940-DUCK (3825).

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season in 2023, the Atlantic League is Major League Baseball’s first Professional Partner League, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 1,200 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 45 million fans to its family-friendly ballparks throughout its 25-year history. Please visit AtlanticLeague.com.