Monday, February 12, 2024

Clint Vondrak and Ryan Wills Hired to Umpire Staff, Guccione Promoted to Crew Chief; Pawol on List of 24 Spring Invitees

Now-former Triple-A umpires Clint Vondrak and Ryan Wills are MLB's two newest full-timers MLB also promoted Chris Guccione to full-time Crew Chief and invited Jen Pawol to Spring Training, the first woman set to umpire a major league exhibition game since Ria Cortesio in 2007, following Pam Postema in the 1980s.

Clinton "Clint" Vondrak joins MLBU at the age of 34 after 12 years in Minor League Baseball, joining MiLB in 2012 and officiating the Pioneer, Midwest, California, Southern, and Pacific Coast Leagues on his way to the majors. Vondrak officiated the 2016 Southern League All-Star Game and has had his MLB debut during during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, on August 10, 2020. He has 286 games of MLB experience.

Ryan Wills is 36 years old to begin the 2024 season and has been hired after 13 years in MiLB. Since starting his minor league career in 2011, Wills has officiated in the Gulf Coast, Appalachian, South Atlantic, California, Carolina, Texas, Eastern, Florida Instructional, and International Leagues prior to his August 22, 2020 debut. Wills might be one of the last MLB new-hires to have graduated from the Jim Evans Academy for Professional Umpiring, which closed in 2012. Wills has worked 402 MLB games.

Chris Guccione has been promoted to Crew Chief after 17 years of major league service (over the course of 24 seasons starting in 2000). He has 3,021 major league games of experience during the regular season, in addition to 9 Wild Card Rounds, 7 Division Series, 5 League Championship Series, and 2 World Series. Similar to Dan Bellino last offseason, Guccione did not work the 2023 postseason prior to his 2024 promotion.

2024 Spring Training Invitee Umpires: Returning sleeve-numbered umpires for Spring Training in 2024 are David Arrieta (100), John Bacon (70), Brock Ballou (119), Paul Clemons (104), Tom Hanahan (69), Edwin Jimenez (75), Emil Jimenez (82), Alex MacKay (105), Dan Merzel (107), Jacob Metz (94), Charlie Ramos (111), Jeremy Riggs (112), Derek Thomas (106), Nate Tomlinson (114), and Brian Walsh (120).

Rounding out the list of 24 Spring invitees are Matt Brown, Steven Jaschinski, James Jean, Austin Jones, Tyler Jones, Dexter Kelley, Chris Marco, Johnathan Parra, and Jen Pawol.

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