Ben Fritz to return as Dust Devils Manager
The Tri-City Dust Devils and San Diego Padres have announced the Dust Devils' coaching staff for the 2017 season. Ben Fritz will return for his second season as the Dust Devils Manager, while Tri-City will also welcome new Hitting Coach Hunter Mense, Pitching Coach John Spence, Coach Oscar Salazar, Strength Coach Sam Hoffman, and Athletic Trainer Isak Yoon to the coaching staff.
"The first two years with the Padres affiliation were great and we're excited to have Ben return as the Dust Devils Manager," said Dust Devils Vice President - General Manager, Derrel Ebert. "Looking back at the past two seasons, I think our fans have a lot to be excited about for the 2017 season."
Ben Fritz will return for his third season as a member of the Padres organization and second as manager for the Dust Devils. Fritz began his professional baseball career in 2002, when he was selected 30th overall by the Oakland Athletics out of Fresno State University. He went on to pitch seven professional seasons with both the Oakland Athletics (2002-2007) and Detroit Tigers (2008).
"I had a great experience in Tri-City last year. We didn't accomplish what we set out to so I'm excited to come give it another crack. We have some awesome fans and they supported us well last year," said Fritz about the 2016 season. "The staff and myself can't wait to come compete and give the fans some exciting baseball."
Mense will enter his first year with the Padres' organization this season and will begin his professional coaching career in Tri-City. Drafted out of the University of Missouri in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft, Mense played out his four-year career for affiliates of the Marlins (2006-2010) before being named the Hitting Coach at his alma mater in 2011.
Spence enters his second season with the Padres organization and first as a pitching coach after serving as a rehab pitching coach in Peoria in 2016. Originally from Grovedale, Victoria, Australia Spencer was drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres, where he pitched in parts of two seasons with the club (2011-2012). During his four-year professional career, Spencer spent time in the Northwest League as a member of the Eugene Emeralds in 2010.
Salazar, a former Major League Infielder who played for the Detroit Tigers (2002), Baltimore Orioles (2008-2009), & the San Diego Padres (2009-2010) also joins the Dust Devils coaching staff.
Also joining the Tri-City staff for the 2017 season will be Strength Coach Sam Hoffman and Athletic Trainer Isak Yoon.
The Dust Devils will open the season on the road with a five-game series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, and will return to Gesa Stadium for their home opener on Tuesday, June 20th where they will face off against division rival the Spokane Indians. Ticket packages for the 2017 season start at just $49, with full-season tickets available starting at $285. Special ticket rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Season tickets, mini-plans, and group tickets can be purchased by contacting the Dust Devils Front Office at (509)544-8789.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.