The El Paso Chihuahuas and San Diego Padres have announced the 2017 Triple-A coaching staff on Friday.
Rod Barajas is returning as manager, with hitting coach Morgan Burkhart and pitching coach Bronswell Patrick also returning to their respective roles.
Barajas is beginning his fourth season as a manager or coach in the Padres organization. The 41-year-old played 14 seasons in the major leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was part of the 2001 champion Diamondbacks and hit a home run in Game 5 of that year’s World Series at Yankee Stadium.
“The fans, the front office, the stadium, everything about El Paso is first class. Coming back here and being a part of the team that defends the PCL championship is going to be exciting,” Barajas said.
Burkhart is starting his fifth season in the Padres organization and second with the Chihuahuas. He has major league playing time with the Boston Red Sox (2000-2001) and Kansas City Royals (2003).
Patrick is continuing as Chihuahuas pitching coach, his 10th season in the Padres organization and fourth in Triple-A, with one of his previous Triple-A seasons coming with Tucson. Patrick pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants from 1998-1999.
The Chihuahuas coaching staff will grow with the addition of coach Keith Werman, who previously played professionally in the Seattle Mariners organization.
“We are thrilled that the same field staff that brought us a PCL Championship in 2016 is returning to El Paso to defend it,” Chihuahuas general manager Brad Taylor said. “We are also pleased to have a few new additional members and we welcome them to Southwest University Park and the greatest minor league audience in the country.”
Athletic trainer Nate Stewart is coming back to El Paso for his fifth season with the Padres Triple-A affiliate and will be joined by athletic trainer Dan Turner, who is being elevated from Double-A San Antonio. A.J. Russell is continuing as Chihuahuas strength and conditioning coach, his seventh year with the Padres Triple-A affiliate.
The Chihuahuas open the 2017 season on April 6 vs. Las Vegas at Southwest University Park. Chihuahuas 2017 Season Seats and Paw-Tial Plans are available now by calling (915) 533-BASE or by visiting the Tickets & Promotions page of www.epchihuahuas.com.