EL PASO, Texas – Phillip Wellman has been named the new manager of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Chihuahuas and San Diego Padres announced today. Wellman becomes the seventh manager in Chihuahuas history.
The Chihuahuas’ 2023 staff also includes pitching coach Scott Mitchell, assistant pitching coach Jimmy Jones, hitting coach Raul Padron, bench coach Brian Esposito, athletic trainers Josh DiLoreto and Maritza Castro and strength coach A.J. Russell.
“I’m extremely excited about the coming season. The Padres have blessed me with a tremendous staff and I’m sure we’ll have very talented players as well. Going to work in a top notch facility with a loyal fan base is something I look forward to being a part of,” Wellman said.
“Throughout our history, and thanks to our Major League affiliate the San Diego Padres, the Chihuahuas have been fortunate to be led by talented and experienced coaching staffs and managers, many with a long-term background in professional baseball. No doubt that our extraordinary on-field success has been a result of the leadership of these individuals,” said MountainStar Sports Group President Alan Ledford. “As we head into our historic 10th season, it’s fitting that we are fortunate to welcome to El Paso and Southwest University Park another talented and experienced staff led by manager Phillip Wellman.”
“We are eager to work with our new field staff for the 10th Anniversary Season. I am especially excited to be reunited with Phillip Wellman, as he was my first manager in professional baseball in 1995 in Huntington, West Virginia,” said Chihuahuas Senior Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor. “I cannot wait to have our front office staff and our fans join me in welcoming him, and our entire field staff, to El Paso.”
Wellman is entering his eighth season in the Padres organization and his 35th as a manager or coach in Minor League Baseball. Prior to joining the Padres, Wellman worked in the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels organizations. He was the manager for Double-A championship teams in the Southern League (2008 with the Mississippi Braves) and the Texas League (2019 with the Amarillo Sod Poodles). Wellman played professionally in the Braves, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations from 1984-1987.
Mitchell is entering his first season in the Padres organization. He was previously a pitching coach in the Florida Marlins organization from 2002-2010, including two seasons in the Pacific Coast League with New Orleans. He was most recently a pitching coordinator for the Pirates from 2011-2020 and will resume his coaching career with the Chihuahuas. He pitched in the Montreal Expos organization from 1995-2001, reaching Triple-A Ottawa.
Jones is entering his 15th season in the Padres organization and was High-A Fort Wayne’s pitching coach in 2022. He was Double-A San Antonio’s pitching coach from 2009-2019. Jones was the third overall pick in the 1982 June Amateur Draft and pitched in the major leagues with the Padres, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Montreal Expos from 1986-1993.
Padron is entering his eighth season in the Padres organization and was Double-A San Antonio’s hitting coach for the last five years. He played from 2004-2013 and reached Triple-A Sacramento in the PCL in the Oakland Athletics organization in 2008 and 2009.
Esposito is entering his second season in the Padres organization after managing High-A Fort Wayne in 2022. He managed in the Pirates organization from 2014-2021, including three seasons at Triple-A Indianapolis. As a player, he reached the major leagues with the Cardinals in 2007 and the Astros in 2010.
DiLoreto returns to the Chihuahuas for his second consecutive season on the athletic training staff and Castro is also returning after working in El Paso in 2021. Russell is entering his 12th season as the strength coach for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate.
The Chihuahuas’ 2023 regular season starts on Friday, March 31 at home against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Houston Astros affiliate). Tickets for Opening Day will go on sale at a later date.