Padres word with Tye Waller

Strange things happen over the course of a year that begs attention but the questions rarely get asked. For instance, did you know that several players were allowed to leave the Eugene Emeralds and return to school? That said, we asked San Diego Padres' Director of Player Development the tough questions regarding the 2004 minors.

Three players that began the year with the Eugene Emeralds were allowed to leave and go back to school. Orlando Diaz, Brian Burks and Jake Vose each left early, but what is the rules regarding this. Does San Diego lose their rights, keep them or did they quit baseball?

Tye Waller: The guys have a chance to graduate that first year, we try to help them out if we can. It wasn't like those guys were in a pennant race. We had some guys to replace them so we did so. Organizational courtesy. Now that does not always happen. It depends on what is going on at the time.

Over the course of the year, several Portland Beavers' players were suspended for various reasons and we can only speculate that it was due to usage of banned substances. One player was suspended twice. Among those suspended were Ben Risinger, Bernie Castro and Jose Nieves. What can you tell us regarding this issue and why did it seem so widespread this past year?

Tye Waller: That is all confidential information but yes they did get suspended. Why do people do what they do? I don't know. It is usually justified in their minds somehow. Until players learn the lessons that there is no shortcuts, they put themselves in those situations. The best way I can look at it is not only do we develop players – we develop people. We try to get these guys to understand that in order to make a living in this game you have to become a certain individual. Hopefully we go about it the right way and give them a chance to turn it around.

It is always unfortunate to lose a player for any off the field reason. From an organizational standpoint, we try and overcome it. You always want these guys to make it or break it on the field. Hopefully that becomes the way with these individuals.

Dennis Tankersley is no longer with the club, but can you give your view on him and when did it hit the point that the Padres soured on him and decided it would be in their best interest to move him?

Tye Waller: I believe Dennis Tankersley didn't do very well when he came back up the second time. Early on, he did a hell of a job. He just couldn't get the win because we couldn't score the runs for him. People lose sight of that.

In the last few outings here they were disappointed in him.

But if they knew how far he came from last year to this year and look at the progress he made, he has got to feel good about his year.

Eugene was terrible this year. Is that an indication of prospects not living up to their potential or were these players playing in a league that was beyond their development?

Tye Waller: Alfredo Fernandez was doing a decent job early on and his inexperience caught up with him as the season got longer. The guys we lost out of college, Vern Sterry moved up, Mike Ekstrom moved up late and Ellis ended up getting hurt. Those would have been three pretty good starters that might have made the difference. Some injuries you just can't overcome.

Describe your philosophy on player development:

Tye Waller: Development happens over a long period of time. When you can put a guy in a situation where adversity confronts them you can find out what they are all about. You find out something about them that you can utilize to help them become a better player.

Can you describe the mystery that is Edgar Huerta? He was supposed to challenge for a relief spot this year in San Diego but was never healthy. Yet, none of the ailments seemed that serious

Tye Waller: We cannot figure out what is going on with this guy. A hip, a back, he has been on and off the DL. He feels good for a while and then it comes back. We are in the process of seeing if we can narrow down what is going on. He is basically in the doctor's care to basically find out what is going on.


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