Fort Wayne TinCaps

Padres Announce 2024 Fort Wayne Coaching Staff

January 30, 2024 - Midwest League (MWL)
Fort Wayne TinCaps News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The San Diego Padres today announced the coaching staff for the 2024 Fort Wayne TinCaps season. Mike Daly, who's been the Padres' Assistant Director of Player Development since the fall of 2021, is set to become the TinCaps' new manager, while Jonathan Mathews, who managed the team last year, is now one of San Diego's minor league hitting coordinators. Daly will lead a staff that's experienced in the Padres' organization and in Fort Wayne.

"As we enter our 15th anniversary season at Parkview Field, we also celebrate our 25th anniversary as an affiliate of the Padres," said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. "We've been blessed over the years to have had amazing people here from Jake Peavy to Fernando Tatis Jr. and dozens more who've made it from Fort Wayne to San Diego, including staff members. It's been a pleasure working with Mike Daly the past two seasons and we're incredibly excited to have him and the rest of this group leading the latest wave of Padres prospects. We're also glad that we'll still see our friend Jonathan Mathews as a roving coordinator and wish the best to those from last year's staff who have new assignments."

Fort Wayne has been a San Diego affiliate since 1999. The TinCaps and the Midwest League moved up from the Single-A classification to the High-A level in 2021.

"After visiting the Summit City several times the past two years, I feel fortunate for the opportunity to manage the TinCaps and work with an amazing staff this season," Daly said. "We're looking forward to our team continuing to make a positive impact in the Fort Wayne community, while also playing an exciting brand of baseball that makes our great fans proud."

* Manager: Mike Daly * Pitching Coach: Tom Eshelman * Hitting Coach: Jed Morris * Bench Coach: Jhonaldo Pozo * Athletic Trainer: Lauren Gottschall * Strength Coach: Chandler Craig * Clubhouse Manager: Sam Lewis * Performance Analyst: Greg Bender * Video: Dylan Bryant

Daly, 45, brings more than two decades of experience in professional baseball to the position. Born in Atlanta, he later moved with his family to Ohio and attended high school in Cincinnati. A right-handed batting infielder, Daly was a member of two national championship teams at LSU in 1997 and 2000. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in marketing, he earned an M.B.A. and a master's in sports administration from Ohio University. Daly worked in the baseball operations department and as a scout for Cleveland from 2001-06 before joining the Texas Rangers, where he spent 15 seasons, working his way up to assistant general manager. During his time with the Rangers, Daly was involved in every department within baseball operations, including major league operations, plus amateur, international, and professional scouting. He also oversaw their minor league and player development department. Daly resides in Dallas during the off-season.

Eshelman, 29, pitched in 31 MLB regular season games for the Baltimore Orioles from 2019-21, making 14 starts. A righty, who grew up near San Diego, Eshelman concluded his pitching career in the Padres' organization in 2022. He went to Cal State Fullerton and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the second round in 2015. Eshelman was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies' organization before the 2016 season and then dealt to the Orioles in '19. Last year, transitioning from the mound to the bench, he served as pitching coach for San Diego's Single-A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm.

Morris, 43, was the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year in 2002 with Nebraska, as he helped lead the Cornhuskers to consecutive Men's College World Series appearances in '01 and '02. A catcher from the Houston area, Morris was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 36th round in 2002, their Moneyball season. Though his career was interrupted by a Leukemia diagnosis, he played nine seasons professionally, advancing up to the Double-A level. Morris worked as the head coach at Division III Eastern University in Pennsylvania from 2013-18. He's been a minor league coach for the Padres since, including last year with the Storm.

Pozo, 34, returns to the TinCaps for a third stint. A catcher from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, he appeared in six games as a TinCap in 2011, as part of a six-year pro-playing career from 2007-12. Pozo was also the club's bench coach in 2022. Last year he had that role with Lake Elsinore.

Gottschall, Craig, Lewis, and Bender were with the TinCaps in 2023 as the team achieved a 69-63 record. The 'Caps set a franchise record for home runs in a campaign and advanced to the Midwest League Postseason. Hitting coach Aaron Bray, bench coach Jerry Downs, and assistant coach Brian Burres will be with the Arizona Complex League Padres this season, while Jared Pollock (video) is with the Double-A San Antonio Missions.

Bryant was also a member of the Storm staff a year ago.

There are currently four former TinCaps staff members on the major league staff for the Padres: Brian Esposito (2022 manager; catching coach and game strategy assistant), Morgan Burkhart (2013-14 hitting coach; major league coaching assistant), Ricky Huerta (2013-15 athletic trainer), and Jay Young (2017 strength coach).

The TinCaps are scheduled to begin their 2024 on the road Friday, April 5 against the Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) in Midland, Michigan. Opening Day at Parkview Field is on the calendar for Tuesday, April 9 (6:35 p.m.) against the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Guardians affiliate). Season ticket packages and group outings are already on sale. Single game tickets are set to go on sale Thursday, February 8.

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