Success makes moving parts in Padres' minors

The success of the lower levels within the San Diego Padres' system has the coaching carousel moving some parts but keeping the engine intact.

Wally Whitehurst, who served as the pitching coach for the Eugene Emeralds last season, is headed to Fort Wayne to, conceivably, move up with the group of pitchers he nurtured last season.

"Wally is in the same position as Doug, having worked with a lot of the pitchers we might have with the Wizards," Wizards General Manager Mike Nutter said in a press release. "With the success that Eugene had as a pitching staff, it will be good to have that stability for a second season."

Tom Bradley, who served the Wizards in the same capacity last year, will flip with Whitehurst and take over as the pitching coach in Eugene.

Similarly, Max Venable will take over as the hitting coach in Lake Elsinore after serving as the hitting coach for Fort Wayne. He will continue his work with a talented group of hitters that spent time with the Wizards last season.

Tom Tornicasa, who was the hitting coach for the Storm, will slide down to Fort Wayne to work with the talent coming through the ranks from Eugene. Tornincasa returns to the Wizards staff as the hitting coach, the same role he held for five seasons from 2001 until 2004

"It will be great having Tom back in Fort Wayne with his previous experience with the Wizards," Nutter said. "He had a great impact on the players and the community when he was here for five years."

Meanwhile, as expected, Doug Dascenzo will officially be named the manager of the Fort Wayne Wizards and San Antonio will gladly receive Randy Ready as their manager.

"Having a former major league player and someone who was successful in the minor leagues is always important at this level," Nutter said. "Doug had a very good start to his coaching career last season in Eugene and will be familiar with many of the players we should have on this year's team in Fort Wayne."


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