Black's staff includes pitching coach Darren Balsley, bullpen coach Willie Blair, third base coach Glenn Hoffman, hitting coaches Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell, bench coach Rick Renteria and first base coach Dave Roberts.
Now if they could just get those guys some better players to work with. Or at least some healthier ones. The Padres just completed their second straight 76-86 season, finishing well despite losing much of the pitching staff, the starting catcher, their best outfielder, their cleanup hitter and every member of the infield to long stretches on the disabled list (as well as two steroid-related suspensions).
Black, entering his eighth year as manager, has a 540-595 record with the Padres. His teams have played hard but have generally been undermanned and low-budget.
Balsley, 48, returns for his 11th full season as the Padres pitching coach for 2014. Since the beginning of
his first full season in 2004, the Padres pitching staff has posted a 3.93 earned run average, the fifth-best mark in baseball in that span and fourth-best in the National League. Balsley is the second-longest tenured pitching coach in the National League behind the Giants’ Dave Righetti.
Blair, 47, returns for his second season as the bullpen coach. During his first campaign with San Diego, the club’s bullpen posted a 3.39 ERA, sixth-best in the NL.
Hoffman, 55, older brother of former Padres reliever (and current front office member) Trevor Hoffman, returns for his ninth season as the Padres third base coach. It will be his 39th year overall in professional baseball.
Plantier, 44, and Powell, 48, both enter their third seasons as the Padres hitting coach and assistant
hitting coach, respectively. The two joined Black’s staff prior to the 2012 season and have overseen the
development of such players as Everth Cabrera, Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable, as well as Chase Headley in 2012, when he finished fifth in National League MVP voting.
Renteria, 51, returns for his seventh season as a member of the Padres coaching staff and his fourth as the club’s bench coach. Last spring, Renteria served as manager for Team Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Roberts, 41, returns for his fourth season as the Padres first base coach. Prior to making his coaching debut, Roberts served as special assistant to baseball operations for the Padres in 2010. The Padres have stolen a Major League-leading 443 bases since Roberts joined the staff prior to the 2011 season.
Padres notes -- Venable, who set career highs in nearly every offensive category, is the team's nomination for the Hank Aaron Award, given to the top offensive player in each league. ... Gyorko, the rookie second baseman who led the Padres in home runs and RBI, has been named to Baseball America's Major League All-Rookie Team.