Robbie Dombrowski will be head coach of the 2019 edition of the Western Canadian Baseball League’s Yorkton Cardinals.
A 2018 graduate from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, Dombrowski was a two-time captain for the St. Norbert baseball team. He spent three seasons as the starting catcher for the Green Knights, leading them to a Midwest Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2017.
Currently, Dombrowski is in his first season on the Belhaven University coaching staff in Jackson. MS. Dombrowski serves as the hitting coach and catching coach for the Blazers.
Dombrowski said he was actively looking to build his credentials as a coach when the Cardinal offer came his way.
“Some of my coaching mentors had told me the best way to build a resume … is to coach in a summer league,” he told Yorkton This Week in a telephone interview.
When he told a friend at Central Michigan about the Canadian league “he had some good things to say about the league.”
When the Yorkton offer was made the same coach said “you need to jump all over that,” said Dombrowski.
Dombrowski assumes the role a tad late in terms of recruiting players for a league that starts at the end of May, but he said he feels ready to fill out a solid roster.
“I’m pretty confident in the contacts I’ve made,” he said, “but it is a bit of a blitz here to fill out the roster. So it’s a bit of a challenge.”
So what is Dombrowski looking for as he recruits?
The bullpen is the first step.
“My philosophy is really trying to build a team around a pitching staff,” he said, but added that is getting harder as many pitchers are now deciding against summer ball to rest their arms and limit innings.
After pitching Dombrowski said he wants a team that pushes the pace of the game.
“I always coach my guys to be aggressive in everything,” he said, adding that means pushing to go first to third on singles, and turning singles into doubles. “… I think that’s really important.”
Dombrowski said when you put pressure on defences by going after extra bases you can force mistakes.
“You can make really good teams look really bad putting pressure on them on the base paths,” he said.
The Yorkton Cardinal season starts on the road May 29 in Regina, with the first game at Jubilee Park in Yorkton scheduled for May 31, with Melville in the city.