The San Diego Padres are beginning their adjustments entering 2017. This week, they released two members of their coaching staff.
A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres are officially back to work. This week, the team began adjusting their coaching staff by parting ways with first-base coach Tarrik Brock and infield coach Eddie Rodriguez.
Brock spent two years with San Diego, serving as a minor league coordinator in 2015, and the first-base coach in 2016. His playing career was short, but the former Chicago Cub always had expertise on the base paths. This allowed him to serve as San Diego’s first-base coach for a season, and will likely provide him with more opportunities in the future.
Rodriguez just joined the team this past season to work with the infielders. In his playing career, he excelled at second base, shortstop, and third base. Though he was a career minor league player, the Cuban worked his way up when he found a passion for coaching. After scouting and coaching in the Angels, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Expos, Mariners, and Nationals minor league systems, Rodriguez got an opportunity to help a young San Diego infield.
Clearly, neither of these coaches are no longer desired. The most likely reason for their release is that they are not good fits for this young roster. Moving on is also a way of forgetting the past and locking down in order to focus on the rebuilding process at hand.
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Most fans won’t notice the difference, as these coaches will soon be replaced with equally competent professionals. The change though still does send a message to the fan base that the organization has no intention of being complacent with their current standing in the NL West.
Of course, it isn’t just a statement. There are baseball reasons for this, as neither Rodriguez or Brock serve a purpose anymore which Preller feels to be beneficial. Having a young infield and young base runners is a shortened version of a possible explanation. Regardless, Preller’s motives will become clear when the team hires new coaches to fill these voids.
Also, this marks the first true move made with Preller reporting directly to team ownership. This change was made when President and CEO Mike Dee was relieved of his duties. Now, the moves continue, and the Padres look to continue their quest towards improvement in 2017. The good news is, they have started.