EL PASO. Texas (KTSM) – Edwin Rodriguez will return as manager of the El Paso Chihuahuas in 2020, the Chihuahuas and San Diego Padres announced Friday. Rodriguez led the 2019 Chihuahuas to 80 wins, the second-most victories in team history.
Rodriguez is entering his fourth season in the Padres organization, having spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons managing the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm. He was the Major League manager for the Florida Marlins for parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons, becoming the first Puerto Rican manager in MLB history. Rodriguez managed Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. As a player, Rodriguez reached the Major Leagues for parts of three seasons with the New York Yankees (1982) and the Padres (1983 and 1985).
Pitching coach Pete Zamora is the lone newcomer to the coaching staff. Zamora was the pitching coach for Lake Elsinore the past two seasons and helped the Storm post the lowest team ERA in the California League in 2019. He also coached in the Padres organization with Rookie-Level Peoria from 2016-2017. As a player, Zamora was drafted in the 20th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1997 out of UCLA and pitched eight seasons professionally in the Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations.
Hitting coach Morgan Burkhart will return for his fifth season with El Paso and eighth in the Padres organization. Morgan’s brother Lance will return as El Paso’s fielding coach, his third year with the Chihuahuas and sixth in the Padres organization.
The Chihuahuas 2020 training staff will include Athletic Trainers Dan Turner and Dan Leja, as well as Strength Coach A.J. Russell.
“We are excited to welcome back Edwin Rodriguez, Morgan Burkhart and Lance Burkhart from the field staff and Dan Turner, Dan Leja and A.J. Russell from the training staff,” Chihuahuas Senior Vice President and General Manager Brad Taylor said. “All were here last year when the Chihuahuas compiled a second-best ever team record of 80-60 and smashed Minor League Baseball’s home run record with 258 homers. We also look forward to having Pete Zamora join our field staff. As the Padres continue to strengthen themselves at the Major League level, El Paso continues to be integral in the Padres player development.”
The Chihuahuas have had six consecutive winning seasons and will begin their seventh season on Thursday, April 9 at Salt Lake against the Bees (Los Angeles Angels affiliate) with the El Paso home opener coming Tuesday, April 14 versus the Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland A’s affiliate). The Chihuahuas have 70 regular season home games scheduled in 2020.