by Dust Devils Media Relations
The San Diego Padres and Tri-City Dust Devils have announced the coaching staff for the Dust Devils' inaugural season as a Padres affiliate. Anthony Contreras will be the manager, with Marvin Benard as hitting coach and Nelson Cruz as pitching coach.
Contreras enters his first full season as a coach in the Padres organization after becoming the manager of the Arizona League Padres in the middle of the 2014 season. Contreras played in nine minor league seasons in the San Francisco Giants (2005-2007) and Padres (2008-2013) systems as an infielder. He was a ninth round selection by the Giants in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of San Jose St.
"On behalf of the Padres, the staff, and myself we are excited for the opportunity to bring quality baseball to the Tri-Cities," said Contreras. "Our goal as a team and an organization is to provide a great atmosphere and exciting entertainment that the people of the Tri-Cities can truly appreciate."
Benard enters his first season in the Padres organization and first as a professional coach. He had a nine-year Major League career as an outfielder with the Giants (1995-2003), where he was a lifetime .271 hitter with 54 home runs and 260 RBIs in 891 games. Benard was drafted by the Giants in 1992 out of Lewis-Clark St. College in Lewiston, ID. He has resided in the Tri-Cities since his playing days ended.
"It's my first year as a minor league hitting coach, so it's even more exciting for me to be at home," said Benard.
Cruz enters his fifth season in the Padres organization after three seasons in Eugene and one with the Arizona League Padres. He pitched in parts of six Major League seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1997), Detroit Tigers (1999-2000), Houston Astros (2001-02), and Colorado Rockies (2003), going 15-23 with a 5.04 ERA in 204 games.
The Dust Devils open their season June 18th at Boise, with the home opener June 23rd versus Vancouver. Ticket packages for the 2015 season are on sale now. Ticket plans start at just $49, with full-season tickets available for as low as $259. 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 or at the Gesa Stadium box office.