Julio Vinas returns as Barons manager in 2014

Julio Vinas and the Barons are gearing up for a title defense.

The Chicago White Sox organization announced that Vinas will return as Birmingham's manager in 2014.

"As an outstanding leader both on and off the field," Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson said. "Julio was instrumental in our run to the Southern League Championship last season and we look forward to building on that success this year."

Vinas led Birmingham to it's first Southern League Championship since 2002. The Barons won the first half North Division title and beat Mobile in the Championship Series.

Pitching coach Britt Burns, head athletic trainer Scott Johnson, and strength and conditioning coach Shawn Powell also return from last year's title team.

Brandon Moore will be the Barons hitting coach. He served in the same position in 2012 before spending last season with Class AAA Charlotte.

Moore is a native of Birmingham and played college ball at Auburn. He was drafted by the White Sox in the 17th round of the 1994 First Year Player draft and played for eight seasons in the organization.

The Barons play an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, March 28, at Regions Field.

Birmingham's regular season home opener is Wednesday, April 9, against the Jacksonville Suns.