Padres finalize 2020 minor league coaching staff

Credit: El Paso Times

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Credit: John Moore/Amarillo Sod Poodles

The San Diego Padres minor league coaching staff is in place for each affiliate for the 2020 season. 

The El Paso Chihuahuas brought back Puerto Rican-born and former Padres’ infielder Edwin Rodriguez who returns for his second season with the team. In 2019, he led El Paso to an 80-60 record and a second-place finish in the Southern Division of the Pacific Coast League. He will be supported, in El Paso, by pitching coach Pete Zamora who served in the same role for the last two seasons with the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm. The Chihuahuas are also bringing back Morgan Burkhart as hitting coach and his brother Lance Burkhart as fielding coach. Daniel Leja, Dan Turner, and AJ Russell will round out their athletic staff.

The Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles retained the services of fifth-year manager Phillip Wellman. The 2019 Double-A Champion Sod Poodles will also bring back Jimmy Jones as their pitching coach and Raul Padron as hitting coach. Both were with Amarillo last year. Fielding coach Freddy Flores will be rejoining the Sod Poodles as well. The Sod Poodles’ athletic staff will consist of Allyse Kramer, Drew Garner, and strength coach Sam Hoffman. Kramer and Hoffman were with the TinCaps last year.

The Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm hired Mike McCoy for his first opportunity as a manager. On his staff so far, the Storm promoted Patrick O’Sullivan to hitting coach after serving as a hitting coach for the Short-A Tri-City Dust Devils the past two seasons. Felipe Blanco will return as fielding coach for his second season with the Storm. Lake Elsinore’s training staff will consist of Martiza Castro and Corey Measner.

The Fort Wayne TinCaps retained Anthony Contreras as the staff leader with Leo Rosales as their new pitching coach. Johnathan Matthews will be the hitting coach, and Johnathan Meyer is the fielding coach. Nick Coberly and Ben Loftis will round out the TinCaps athletic and strength staff.

Credit: TinCaps

Vinny Lopeho will manage the Class A-Short Season Tri-City Dust Devils. He led the Padres in the Arizona Rookie League in 2019. Grman Hiemuller will serve as the pitching coach. Raul Gonzalez will embark on his first season as hitting coach for the Dust Devils. Luis Mendez will be the fielding coach. David Bryan and Justin Seyler will complete Tri-City’s athletic staff.

In Peoria, Aaron Levin and Oscar Salazar will take charge and manage the Padres Rookie Level teams. Salazar will be making his managerial debut after serving as hitting coach for the Tri-City Dust Devils last season. Levin will step into the Rookie League managerial role after previous seasons as their hitting coach. Professional baseball journeyman John Halama will be the pitching coach for AZL Padres 1. Christian Wonders will serve as pitching coach for AZL Padres 2. After managing Eastern University baseball for six seasons, Jed Morris will take over as hitting coach for the AZL Padres 1, and Doug Banks will work as the hitting coach for the AZL Padres. He spent the last two seasons with the Storm. Sung Heon Hong will return as fielding coach for the AZL Padres in 2020. Former MLB pitching coach Curt Young will be the rehab pitching coach in Arizona. The athletic staff for the AZL Padres will consist of Jordan Light, Shaun Alexander, Gareth Webber, and Drew Heitoff.

In the Dominican Summer League, Miguel Del Castillo will manage the Padres Dominican League Affiliate for the third consecutive season. Dominican league regulars Jackson Quezada and Nelson Cruz will be returning as the pitching coaches in Boca Chica. Dominican natives Edinson Rincon, Wilfri De La Cruz, and Jhonaldo Pozo will return as the hitting coaches. Evamarie Balderas, Jairo Garcia, Austin Harris, and Juan Salgado will make up the Padres DSL training staff.

The Padres will be entering the 2020 season with one of the deepest and most talented minor league systems in professional baseball.

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