Source: Darren Balsley to return as pitching coach of the #Padres. Has been with team since 2003. Contract of all coaches expired Saturday.
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) November 1, 2015
It is being reported by Corey Brock of MLB.com that the San Diego Padres have retained the services of Darren Balsley for the 2016 season and beyond. His contract had expired on Saturday and there had been rumors that the native San Diegan could take a job in Washington if former Padres manager Bud Black is named manager.
Balsley had been with the team since the 2003 season and had been a very important member of the coaching staff. Balsley has been widely regarded as a quality coach who develops talent very well. Greg Maddux has even gone as far as to say Balsley was the best pitching coach he ever worked with. A huge compliment from one of the best pitchers in the history of the game.
It is still not known what new Padres manager Andy Green is going to do with the rest of his coaching staff. There are rumors the team would like to retain Mark Kotsay in some capacity. Dave Roberts has been linked to the Dodgers managerial position, but would also be welcomed back. Interim manager Pat Murphy has already left the team in taking a bench-coach position with the Milwaukee Brewers. A team he was linked to during the 2015 season and a chance for him to work with his former player at Arizona State University, Craig Counsell.
Retaining Balsley is a sign the team does not intend to shake things up too much during the off-season. Another season working under Balsley, brings high expectations for James Shields, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner. Each should take their game into a whole new level. Their 2015 season was not what was expected from this talented trio.
Was Balsley’s success due to the fact Bud Black was his manager? It’s no secret that Black was a great pitching coach for the Angels before getting the job managing the Padres. Some would argue that Balsley just rode the coat tails of Black as a manager. Without Bud Black by his side the success or failures of the pitching staff will be on Balsley and Balsley alone.
A chance to prove his value is why Darren Balsley chose to stay in San Diego opposed to working with Black again. That and the fact Blasley is a native San Diegan and he and his family have been comfortable here for 12 plus years. He must get the most out of this staff in order to retain his job. This Padres regime is hell-bent on success and failure is not an option.