‘Familiar Feel’ For Keith Johnson As Salt Lake Bees Manager Entering 2023

Mar 27, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 11:39 am

SALT LAKE CITY – In his third go-around as the manager of the Salt Lake Bees, it’s easy to forget the fact that Keith Johnson played 215 games with Salt Lake before ever taking over as manager.

Those 215 games represent the fifth-most played at third base in franchise history.

“I’m excited about the season, excited about being back in Salt Lake,” Johnson said on the first episode of The Salt Lake Bees Podcast.

“The organization is getting back to some things that the fans are going to enjoy seeing. We’re trying to win a lot more ballgames, and do it in a way that’s exciting and aggressive.”

RELATED: Legendary Salt Lake Bees Announcer Steve Klauke Announces Retirement

After finishing his playing career with Salt Lake following the 2003 season, Johnson entered the coaching ranks, cutting his teeth in the ‘bus leagues’ of minor league baseball before taking over as manager of the Bees in 2011.

Between 2011 and 2018, Johnson amassed a 468-512 won/lost record in two stints as the Bees manager, sandwiched around jobs with the big-league Los Angeles Angels

Following the 2018 season, Johnson joined the Miami Marlins organization. He spent the 2021 & 2022 seasons as the Marlins first base coach, working under manager Don Mattingly.

RELATED: Nostalgia Floods Utah Sports World With Bees Move, Delta Center Return 

“Miami, it was awesome. It was a great experience. We were second in the National League and fourth MLB in stolen bases two years ago. Last year, we were second in all of MLB, and first in the National League in stolen bases. We had some really good pitching, and you play some defense and run the bases. You play the game the right way, you can win some ballgames.”

The Salt Lake Bees In 2023

With Opening Day 10 days away, it’s impossible to know the final makeup of the roster that will occupy the first base dugout at Smith’s Ballpark when the Bees host the Sacramento River Cats on March 31.

“It’s a very familiar feel from everything that we’ve had so far. We have all the conversations with the players all off-season. That way, when these guys come into camp, they know the expectation, they know the standards, and they live up to it.”

Johnson believes his experience in the big leagues as a player and coach can help get players ready for the highest level of baseball.

“Understanding what it takes being a player and how big that gap has gotten (from Triple-A to MLB). Being back here after being in the big leagues for the last two years, just understanding how important the routine of your daily work is. From the time players get to the ballpark, how they recover, trying to make sure these guys understand where they can slow the game down. At the end of the day, up there, things are going to speed up a little bit.”

RELATED: Familiar Face Set To Manage Salt Lake Bees In 2023

Salt Lake is scheduled to open the 2023 season on Friday, March 31. The Bees welcome in the Sacramento River Cats for a three-game series to begin their 30th season of play.

Easy Bees Listening With KSL

All Salt Lake Bees games will be featured on the KSL Sports app.

Listen to ‘Voice of the Bees’ Steve Klauke on The Zone Sports Network. Purchase tickets to see the Bees play at

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Salt Lake Bees

salt lake bees baseball lights...

Chandler Holt

Salt Lake Bees To Celebrate Gulls On Throwback Night

This Friday, the Salt Lake Bees will be throwing it all the way back to the 70s for throwback night to honor the Salt Lake City Gulls.

3 days ago

sl bees outfielder jordyn adams...

Brian Preece

Two-Sport All-American Jordyn Adams Flashing Potential With Salt Lake Bees

If Salt Lake Bees centerfielder Jordyn Adams ever gets asked to share something unique about himself, the 23-year-old has quite the trump card.

30 days ago

tacoma rainiers pitcher taylor dollard...

Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Previewing Salt Lake Bees Vs. Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, are in Utah for their first matchup with the Salt Lake Bees in 2023.

1 month ago

salt lake bees outfielder mickey moniak...

Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Mickey Moniak Named PCL Player Of The Week

Salt Lake Bees outfielder Mickey Moniak was seemingly everywhere last week, getting the job done at the plate and with the glove

1 month ago

vaccination salt lake bees...

Brian Preece

Salt Lake Bees Will Host 14 Games At Smith’s Ballpark In May

The Salt Lake Bees turn the page on a tough first month, hoping that May flowers will give them the chance to heat up.

1 month ago

salt lake bees outfielder Mickey Moniak...

Brian Preece

Bees Bullets: Mickey Moniak’s Hot Bat Leads Salt Lake Bees In El Paso

Salt Lake Bees pitchers can't wait to get out of El Paso while batters are hoping they can extend their stay.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

‘Familiar Feel’ For Keith Johnson As Salt Lake Bees Manager Entering 2023