While it may be getting a bit warmer (and windy and dusty) here in the Sun City, a few miles to the west Spring has arrived…Spring Training that is!
As part of our continuing coverage of the local sports scene, our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta has made the trek to Arizona to check out how the Chihuahuas’ parent club – the San Diego Padres – are shaping up this year.
Check out his view of Spring Training, as the Padres took on the Mariners in this ‘Story in Many Pics’
The San Diego Padres and the El Paso Chihuahuas have agreed to extend the Player Development Contract between the two teams to run through the 2020 season.
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Padres for two additional seasons and to be a part of an organization which has one of the best and most touted group of minor league players in the game,” said Alan Ledford, MountainStar Sports Group president. “We can’t wait to welcome these exciting players and introduce them to the best fans in Minor League Baseball. We appreciate the remarkable relationship we have developed with Ron Fowler, Tom Seidler, A.J. Preller and the entire organization.”
“On the field and off, the Padres have been tremendous partners,” said Vice President of MountainStar Sports Group Brad Taylor, who also serves as the Chihuahuas general manager. “This relationship exceeds just wins and losses. The two organizations share a commitment to their communities. It’s rewarding to have an MLB affiliate where so many personal relationships have translated to productive ideas and success.”
“We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with El Paso,” said Padres Executive Vice President, General Manager A.J. Preller. “As we work to build a championship-caliber organization, our Baseball Operations group has come to depend on the tremendous leadership and professionalism of Alan Ledford, Brad Taylor and the entire Chihuahuas organization. El Paso provides our top prospects with not only best-in-class facilities but also a truly passionate fan base.”
The Chihuahuas have been the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate since MountainStar Sports Group acquired the team in 2013 as the Tucson Padres, renewing the PDC through the end of the 2018 campaign.
Since making the move to El Paso, 28 former Chihuahuas have made their major league debut with the Padres including six in 2017. The Chihuahuas have finished .500 or better in all four seasons as the Padres Triple-A affiliate. They have won their division for three straight years (2015, 2016, 2017) en route to two conference championships and two consecutive appearances in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series including a PCL title in 2016.
The partnership between the Padres and the Chihuahuas extends beyond the playing field. The Padres organization provides an annual stipend to support area community initiatives, more recently a donation to the Border Youth Athletic Association to help with their educational and developmental programs.
The Chihuahuas and Padres are slated to play an exhibition game at Southwest University Park on March 26, 2018, kicking off the Chihuahuas Fifth Season Celebration. Tickets for the Padres game are currently on sale to Chihuahuas Season Seat and Paw-tial Plan Holders that have renewed for the 2018 campaign.
Current and new Season Seat Holders will be eligible to purchase individual tickets at a later date.
Group leaders who have booked a 2018 date with a minimum of a 25% deposit are able to purchase a group to the exhibition game now. Individuals who would like a pre-purchase opportunity prior to the general public on sale may register online at epchihuahuas.com.
The Chihuahuas 2018 Fifth Season Celebration kicks off on Thursday, April 5 in Las Vegas with the home opener slated for Tuesday, April 10. Individual game tickets for the Fifth Season Celebration, including the Padres vs. Chihuahuas Exhibition Game will go on sale at a later date.
For information on the 2018 Padres vs. Chihuahuas Exhibition Game or the latest Chihuahuas news and information, visit epchihuahuas.com.
Photos by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post
The San Diego Padres and the El Paso Chihuahuas announced Wednesday that they will play an exhibition game at Southwest University Park on Monday, March 26th at 6:35 p.m. The game will lead off the Chihuahuas Fifth Season Celebration festivities.
Today’s announcement also included the official debut of the Fifth Season Celebration logo that will be used throughout the 2018 season and the addition of the 2017 division and conference championship flags on the Wall of Champions located in the outfield of Southwest University Park.
“We’re thrilled to bring a Major League team to El Paso and Southwest University Park for the second time in our history,” said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford. “Fans will get to see some of their favorite former Chihuahuas while getting the first glimpse at the 2018 team. The Padres have some of the best young talent in the Big Leagues and we’re excited to introduce them to our fans.”
“The Padres have been tremendous partners through our first four seasons providing our fans with top tier, up-and-coming talent,” said Chihuahuas Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “This game is a great gesture from them and a great way to start our fifth season.”
The exhibition game between the Padres and the Chihuahuas will mark the second meeting in five seasons between the two teams which played the first exhibition game on March 31, 2016. The Padres defeated the Chihuahuas 13-9 in a game that included eight home runs hit between the two teams.
“The El Paso organization has played an invaluable role in the development of current and future Padres, as evidenced by the success they’ve achieved in the PCL as well as the impact former Chihuahuas have made at the big-league level,” said Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller. “Southwest University Park sets the standard for a quality ballpark experience and we look forward to participating in this exhibition game as we prepare for the 2018 season.”
The Chihuahuas, the back-to-back Pacific Coast League (PCL) Pacific Conference Champions, ended the 2017 campaign 73-69 (.519), en route to their second appearance in the PCL Championship series. The Chihuahuas won the league title in 2016, a team that included current Padres, Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Carlos Asuaje, Hunter Renfroe and Phil Maton, to name a few.
There were 36 Chihuahuas on the 2016 championship team that played for San Diego.
The Chihuahuas have won three division titles, two conference titles and a league championship as the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate while finishing .500 or better every year since making the move to El Paso. Since the 2014 campaign, 28 Chihuahuas have made their major league debut with the San Diego Padres including six in 2017.
A total of 101 players have ultimately played in Major League Baseball after donning the Chihuahuas uniform.
Tickets for the 2018 exhibition game are currently available to Season Seat and Paw-tial Plan Holders that have renewed for the 2018 season. Individuals who purchase new Season Seats will also be eligible to purchase at this time. Season Seat Holders will be able to purchase additional individual tickets at a later date.
Group leaders who have booked a 2018 date with a minimum of a 25% deposit will be able to purchase a group to the San Diego vs. Chihuahuas Exhibition beginning January 2, 2018. Individuals who would like a pre-purchase opportunity may register online.
The Chihuahuas 2018 Fifth Season Celebration kicks off on Thursday, April 5th in Las Vegas with the home opener slated for Tuesday, April 10th.
Individual game tickets for the Fifth Season Celebration, including the Padres vs. Chihuahuas Exhibition Game will go on sale at a later date.
For information on the 2018 Padres vs. Chihuahuas Exhibition Game or on the Chihuahuas, visit epchihuahuas.com. To purchase Season Seats or Paw-tial Plans, please call (915) 533-BASE to speak to a Chihuahuas account executive.
Staff Report April 3, 2017SportsComments Off on Chihuahuas Announce Tentative Opening Day Roster
The San Diego Padres and El Paso Chihuahuas have announced the 2017 Triple-A Opening Day roster. The active roster includes 12 pitchers, two catchers, five infielders and five outfielders. There are currently 24 players on the 25-man roster, which is subject to change.
Sixteen players have Major League experience and all 24 players spent time at Major League Spring Training in 2017. Thirteen players have played for the Chihuahuas previously, with 12 of those spending time in El Paso during the 2016 league championship season.
Six players are San Diego Padres draft picks, seven were originally signed as international free agents, two were added via trade, two were claimed off of waivers and seven were acquired as minor league free agents.
“As the Padres continue to build depth we are seeing the benefits of very good players wearing Chihuahuas uniforms here in Triple-A,” said Chihuahuas Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “It is an exciting time to see the Padres filling the pipeline. We look forward to welcoming back the returning players that helped win a PCL Championship in 2017 and look forward to meeting the new players.”
The Chihuahuas open the regular season on Thursday, April 6 at home against the Las Vegas 51s.
Logan Bawcom: The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010 and also spent time in the Seattle Mariners organization before signing with the Padres last off-season.
Carlos Fisher: The 34-year-old pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 2009-2011. He made his MLB debut on May 24, 2009 at Great American Ball Park in interleague play against the Cleveland Indians and became the first Reds reliever to win his MLB debut since 1994.
Tyrell Jenkins: The 24-year-old was named the Atlanta Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and made his MLB debut with Atlanta in 2016. He was claimed on waivers by the Padres on January 3.
Jason Jester: The 25-year-old Texas A&M alum enters his fourth pro season, all within the Padres system after being drafted in 2014. He was named a Texas League All-Star in 2016 before being transferred to El Paso on July 30.
Dinelson Lamet: The 24-year-old righty is entering his fourth professional season, all within the Padres organization. He was promoted to El Paso at the end of last season, making his Triple-A debut on August 27, 2016 and starting another game for the Chihuahuas on September 1.
Zach Lee: The 25-year-old was claimed on waivers by the Padres last off-season. He made his MLB debut with the Dodgers on July 25, 2015 at Citi Field against the New York Mets.
Walker Lockett: The 22-year-old 6’5” righthander was drafted by San Diego in 2012. He began last season in Low-A but was steadily promoted through each of the Minor League levels until reaching El Paso and pitching three postseason games for the team in September.
Matt Magill: The 27-year-old pitched in the Major Leagues for the Dodgers in 2013 and the Reds in 2016. Before being called up in 2013, Magill led Dodgers Minor Leaguers in strikeouts (168) was ranked No. 7 among Dodgers prospects by MLB.com.
Phil Maton: The 24-year-old was on the mound in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 4 of the 2016 PCL Championship Series when El Paso won the league championship last September. He was drafted and signed by the Padres in 2015.
Kevin Quackenbush: The 28-year-old was originally drafted by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2011 Amateur Draft. He pitched for the Padres and Chihuahuas in each of the last three seasons, including 60 games for San Diego in 2016.
Andre Rienzo: The 28-year-old has three seasons of MLB experience and was only the second Brazilian player to reach the Major Leagues. He was a starter for the Chicago White Sox in 2013 and 2014 and a reliever for the Miami Marlins in 2015.
Bryan Rodriguez: The 25-year-old is entering his seventh professional season, all in the Padres organization. Rodriguez pitched for El Paso in 2015 and 2016.
Tony Cruz: The 30-year-old brings six years of big league experience behind the plate, including eight postseason games for the St. Louis Cardinals. Cruz played for the Kansas City Royals and Triple-A Omaha last season.
Rocky Gale: The 29-year-old is entering his eighth professional season, all with the Padres organization. Gale and Quackenbush are the only Chihuahuas to be part of the team in all four seasons in El Paso.
Carlos Asuaje: The 25-year-old was the 2016 Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Padres organization after being traded from the Boston Red Sox in November 2015. Asuaje set a team record by collecting 172 hits last season.
Dusty Coleman: The 29-year-old spent part of the 2015 season with the World Series champion Kansas City Royals. Coleman was the South Dakota High School Player of the Year in 2006 and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics two years later.
Diego Goris: The 26-year-old was the only Chihuahuas player to get a hit in all eight Pacific Coast League playoff games last season. He played 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF and C last season between El Paso and Double-A San Antonio.
Jamie Romak: The 31-year-old played for Team Canada in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Romak has previous MLB experience with the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cory Spangenberg: The 26-year-old brings three years of big league experience with the Padres, after having been drafted by San Diego in the first round (10th overall) of the 2011 Amateur Draft. Spangenberg made his MLB debut with the Padres on Sept. 1, 2014 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park, collecting his first big league hit and driving in two.
Jabari Blash: The 27-year-old split last season between the Padres and Chihuahuas. He became the 16th player born in the U.S. Virgin Islands to appear in a Major League game when he made his MLB debut on April 4, 2016.
Franchy Cordero: The 22-year-old is entering his sixth professional season, all within the Padres system. Cordero divided 2016 between Single-A Lake Elsinore, Double-A San Antonio and El Paso.
Collin Cowgill: The 30-year-old has Major League experience with five different MLB teams in the past six seasons, including postseason action with the Diamondbacks in 2011 and the Angels in 2014.
Rafael Ortega: The 25-year-old played in 66 games at the big league level for the Angels in 2016 and also hit .317 in 78 games for Triple-A Salt Lake.
Jose Pirela: The 27-year-old has appeared in 59 career MLB games between the New York Yankees and Padres. He played in 35 games for the Chihuahuas last season.
For season seats or Paw-tial Plans or group ticket opportunities, fans can call (915) 533-BASE or visit www.epchihuahuas.com
Andres Acosta March 26, 2017SportsComments Off on Story in Many Pics | Spring Training Edition – Padres vs Cubs
Day three of our coverage of the El Paso Chihuahuas parent club – the San Diego Padres – found us as the World Champion Chicago Cubs rolled into town to take on the Swingin’ Friars; Spring Training baseball at its best.
Andres Acosta was there and brings you his view of the game via today’s ‘Story in Many Pics.’
Staff Report August 4, 2016SportsComments Off on Padres and Chihuahuas Extend Player Development Contract
The San Diego Padres and the El Paso Chihuahuas have agreed to extend the Player Development Contract to run through the 2018 season.
“From ownership and senior management, through their on-field staff and players, the Padres organization has been a terrific partner,” said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford. “This relationship is unique as it goes well beyond the typical affiliation due to the Padres active involvement in the El Paso community and Borderplex region. On the field, the excitement continues to build this season and into the future.”
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Chihuahuas and to maintain El Paso as the home of our Triple-A club…” said Padres President and CEO Mike Dee.
Dee added, “The next several years will be exciting ones for our player development system, as the amateur talent A.J. (Preller) and his team have acquired with the support of ownership makes its way through the system, and we are looking forward to seeing many talented players come through Southwest University Park. The Chihuahuas organization, led by the first-class ownership of the Foster and Hunt families, is a perfect partner.”
“Over the past few years, our baseball operations department has invested a significant amount of time and resources to ensure consistency in approach, message and mentality across the player development system, and the Chihuahuas have been great partners in that effort,” said Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager Preller. “The winning atmosphere in El Paso that Alan, Brad and the entire organization have created is important for our developing players to experience as they make their way to San Diego.”
The Chihuahuas have been the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate since MountainStar Sports Group acquired the team in 2013 as the Tucson Padres, renewing the PDC through the end of the 2016 campaign.
“The Chihuahuas and the city of El Paso are fortunate to partner with the Padres,” said Brad Taylor, El Paso Chihuahuas general manager. “They have provided us with top prospects, winning teams, playoff contenders and have generously helped with community efforts in our region. El Paso is important to the Padres and they live this with the Chihuahuas.”
Since making the move to El Paso, 18 former Chihuahuas have made their Major League debut with the Padres. The Chihuahuas, who are 62-50, look to finish the season .500 or better for the third consecutive season and the fourth year in a row by a Padres Triple-A affiliate, a feat which has not happened since 1981-1984.
Furthermore, the Chihuahuas are on pace to reach the playoffs for the second straight year, which a Padres’ Triple-A affiliate has not done since Las Vegas made the playoffs in 1987-1988.
Strip tickets and individual game tickets for the 2016 Pacific Coast League (PCL) playoffs are currently on sale. For more information, call (915) 533-BASE or visit our website at EPChihuahuas.com