Luke Montz and Jeff Andrews Highlight Missions 2023 Field Staff
\Phillip Wellman Promoted to Triple-A El Paso \
_Phillip Wellman Promoted to Triple-A El Paso _
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Missions, in accordance with the San Diego Padres, have announced their field staff for the 2023 season. Former Major League catcher, Luke Montz, will serve as the manager of the Missions. Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach, Jeff Andrews, will take on that role in San Antonio. Pat O’Sullivan will serve as the team’s hitting coach with former Missions player, Felipe Blanco, filling the role of bench coach. David Bryan will be the club’s athletic trainer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Luke Montz to the Padres organization as manager of the Missions,” said Director of Player Development Ryley Westman. “He will be instrumental in the growth and development of our players and the coaching staff. The Missions are a pillar of the San Antonio community, and we look forward to a successful 2023 season, both on and off the field.”
Montz, 39, enters his fourth season as a minor league manager. This marks his first season in the Padres organization after previously spending the last four years in the Boston Red Sox organization. Montz previously managed Single-A Salem from 2021-2022 and served as the manager for Short-Season Lowell in 2019. The Louisiana native led Salem to a 71-49 record during the 2021 campaign. Montz also served as a coaching assistant with Double-A Portland during the 2018 season.
Prior to his coaching career, Montz spent 13 seasons as a catcher within five different organizations (Montreal/Washington, New York (NL), Florida/Miami, Oakland and Boston). He was drafted by Montreal in the 17th round of the 2003 draft out of Hill College and appeared in over one thousand games during his professional career. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Washington Nationals and appeared in 10 games that season. Montz also played in 13 games for the Oakland Athletics during the 2013 season.
“The Missions have had a long history of stellar managers here in the Alamo City,” said Missions President Burl Yarbrough. We are excited for Luke to join the Missions and lead the next crop of future big leaguers.”
Andrews, 63, enters his 38th season as a professional coach and 29th in the role of pitching coach. The South Dakota native notably served as the pitching coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2008 season. Most recently, he was the pitching coach for Double-A Frisco during the 2021 and 2022 seasons and from 2009-2015. He began his coaching career in 1986 and has since worked with five different organizations including the Padres in 1998 and 1999. A 26th-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 1981 draft, Andrews played two seasons of minor league baseball after attending East Tennessee State University.
O’Sullivan, 45, enters his sixth season in the Padres organization and first season with the Missions. He previously served as the hitting coach for Single-A Lake Elsinore in 2021 and 2022. Prior to that, he was the hitting coach for Short-Season Tri-City in 2018 and 2019. The Illinois native was drafted in the 34th round of the 1999 draft by the New York Mets. He played four seasons in the minors before spending seven years in the Independent League and Mexican League.
Blanco, 29, enters his sixth season in the Padres organization and first season as a coach with the Missions. Blanco appeared in 29 games for San Antonio during the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. He recently served as the bench coach for Single-A Lake Elsinore in 2022 and was the club’s fielding coach in 2019 and 2021. His first coaching job was with Short-Season Tri-City as the fielding coach in 2018. Prior to his coaching career, Blanco spent seven seasons as an infielder in the Padres organization from 2011-2017 and made it as far as Triple-A in 2016.
Bryan enters his eighth season in the Padres organization and first season with the Missions. He previously served as the athletic trainer for High-A Fort Wayne in 2022. He also held that role for Single-A Lake Elsinore in 2021, Short-Season Tri-City from 2017-2018 and at the Arizona Complex League in 2016 and 2019. Bryan attended Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia where he played baseball and received his bachelor's degree in athletic training. He went to graduate school at Concord University and was hired by San Diego after completing graduate school.
The coaching staff from the 2022 campaign are all remaining in the Padres organization. Phillip Wellman will make his Triple-A managerial debut in El Paso. Joining Wellman in El Paso will be Raul Padron as the club’s hitting coach. Pete Zamora will make his managerial debut with Single-A Lake Elsinore. Shane Robinson is now the bench coach with High-A Fort Wayne. Also, former Missions pitcher Thomas Eshelman will join Zamora in Lake Elsinore as the team’s pitching coach.
The Missions 2023 season gets underway on Thursday, April 7th on the road against the Tulsa Drillers. The home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11th against the Frisco RoughRiders.
The San Antonio Missions are the Double-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres. The 2023 season will be the 121st professional season for the San Antonio Missions. Season seat memberships, as well as group tickets, for the 2023 season are available now. Call 210-675-PARK to discuss pricing for season tickets, group tickets and hospitality. For more information on the upcoming season call 210-675-PARK (7275) or visit samissions.com.