June 6, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley (middle right) during a visit to the mound to talk with starting pitcher Clayton Richard (left) during the first inning as catcher Nick Hundley (4) and second baseman Logan Forsythe (right) look on against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The right coach can make a world of difference, and that is exactly what pitching coach Darren Balsley has meant to the Padres pitching staff since 2003. Corey Brock of MLB.com details Balsley’s coaching expertise in his recent column, “Passionate Balsley brings out best in Padres’ pitchers.”
In addition, Tyson Ross is quoted in the article saying that being traded to the Padres in November 2012 “was the best thing to ever happen to me.” Ross is blossoming into a legitimate third starter for San Diego under Balsley’s instruction.
Balsley credits the late Mel Queen with helping shape his coaching philosophy the most. Queen originally asked him to coach after his pitching career was over at the age of 25, and for the next couple years Queen taught Balsley everything he knew about the art of pitching.
The pitching stats continue to dominate the headlines for the Padres. San Diego is currently tied with the Dodgers for the sixth best team ERA in the National League at 3.24, and they have the lowest bullpen ERA in the majors at 1.75.
Under Balsley’s leadership, the pitching staff is performing well, and will continue to give the Padres an excellent chance to win moving forward.