San Antonio - Earlier this afternoon, the San Diego Padres announced the field staff for the 2014 San Antonio Missions.
Rich Dauer, who led the Missions to their 13th Texas League title in 2013, returns for his second season in the Alamo City. In his first season as a manager in over two decades, Dauer guided the Missions to a 78-61 record and their fifth playoff berth in the last seven years. San Antonio defeated rival Corpus Christi (Houston Astros AA) in five games in the South Division Playoffs before outlasting Arkansas (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim AA) in the TL Championship Series in another epic five-game series.
The 61-year-old Dauer played 10 seasons in the Majors, all with the Baltimore Orioles (1976-85) and was a member of the 1983 World Championship club. The 2014 season will mark his 27th as a coach and his second in the Padres organization.
"We're thrilled to have Rich Dauer back," said Missions GM David Gasaway. "Rich brings a wealth of baseball experience to the position and his leadership skills were on full display during last season's championship run. It's exciting to have the reigning TL Manager of the Year return and lead us to more success in 2014."
Also returning to the defending champs is pitching coach, Jimmy Jones. The Dallas, TX native enters his sixth season in the Padres organization and his fourth straight with San Antonio. Under Jones' tutelage in 2013, the Missions led the TL in ERA at 3.19, saves with a franchise-record 50, WHIP at 1.19 and tied for first with 14 shutouts. Last season, San Antonio hurlers also allowed the Texas League's fewest hits (1113), runs (527), earned runs (438), home runs (93) and walks (352).
Francisco Morales joins the San Antonio staff in 2014 as hitting coach after spending the last three seasons in the Cleveland Indians organization. Morales began his coaching career in 2006 in the Dominican Summer League for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent the next four seasons in the D-Backs system, the last three at Class A South Bend of the Midwest League. In 1089 games during a 12-year professional baseball career, Morales hit .257 with 124 homers and 573 RBI. The former catcher played for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos organizations, reaching as high as the Triple-A level. Morales spent his final four years in the Atlantic League (Indy.), playing for both the Long Island Ducks and the Camden Riversharks.
Dan Turner returns to the Missions for his second season as athletic trainer. The 2014 season will mark his eighth in the Padres organization and his fifth as a certified athletic trainer.
Rounding out the San Antonio staff will be new strength and conditioning coach Eric Wood, who spent the past two seasons with High-A Lake Elsinore.
The Missions will open the 2014 campaign on the road, Thursday April 3, at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO for the start of a three-game series with the Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals AA). Following their series with the Cards, San Antonio will play a three-game set with the Tulsa Drillers (Colorado Rockies AA) from April 6-8 at ONEOK Field.
On Thursday, April 10, the Missions will open their 21st season at Wolff Stadium when they take on the Cardinals at 7:05 PM. It will be a special night at the Wolff as the Missions will have a pre-game ring ceremony in addition to raising their 13th Texas League championship pennant. San Antonio's season-opening homestand will run from April 10-15.