Harkey joins BayBears

The Mobile BayBears pitchers will be coached by a Major League veteran in 2005, as the San Diego Padres have added Mike Harkey to the Mobile coaching staff. Harkey, 38, pitched for the Cubs, Rockies, Athletics, Angels and Dodgers in a Major League career that spanned eight seasons. The Sporting News named Harkey National League Rookie of the Year in 1990 after he went 12-6 with a 3.26 ERA.

Tye Waller, the Padres' director of player development, was excited to have the staff settled at the minor league level. He was extremely pleased to have many coaches return for the upcoming season.

"Mike has been very good for our young pitchers," Waller commented.

The upcoming season will be Harkey's sixth season as a pitching coach in the Padres' organization. He spent 2004, as well as 2002, coaching the Lake Elsinore Storm (high-A) in the California League and he will likely see some familiar faces as players move up in the system. Harkey was the pitching coach for the Fort Wayne Wizards (low-A) of the Midwest League in 2001 and 2003. His coaching debut came in 2000 with the California League's Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

In many cases, pitchers who will be promoted to Mobile in 2005 have been coached by Harkey in single-A. "We have young pitchers that will have some success at the double-A level," said Harkey. "Mobile is not that far from the big leagues. I think all of our pitchers have potential."

Last season in Lake Elsinore, Harkey coached alongside BayBears hitting coach Mike Davis. He has also worked with BayBears manager Gary Jones, as both were on the Fort Wayne staff in 2003. "Gary and Mike are both very good teachers. I think what Gary brings is consistency and discipline. Mike Davis is very passionate about what he does, and both of them fit in well with my mindset," said Harkey.

Harkey will replace Gary Lance who was promoted to the San Diego Padres Triple-A Affiliate in Portland. Lance serves as the BayBears Pitching coach for one and a half seasons.

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