Former Fort Wayne Wizards infielder Anthony Contreras will manage the TinCaps this year, the San Diego Padres announced Thursday.
Contreras played nine years in the minor leagues (from 2005 to 2013), including part of the 2008 season with Fort Wayne. He batted .304 with 1 HR and 15 RBI in 36 games with the Wizards.
He transitioned to managing in 2014, leading San Diego’s rookie-level team in the Arizona League. He managed the Tri-City Dust Devils, San Diego’s short-season affiliate in the Northwest League, in 2015.
Last year’s TinCaps skipper, Francisco Morales, was promoted to manage the Lake Elsinore Storm, San Diego’s High-A affiliate in the California League. Last year’s TinCaps pitching and hitting coaches, Burt Hooton and Lance Burkhart, are returning to Fort Wayne this year.
This will be Hooton’s fourth year as Fort Wayne’s pitching coach. The former major-league pitcher, who threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs in 1972, was the major-league pitching coach for the Houston Astros from 2000 to 2004, and has 20 years of experience as a minor-league pitching coach. Under his watch last year, the TinCaps posted the lowest team ERA (3.35) in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
The 2016 season will be Burkhart’s second as TinCaps hitting coach. His 13-year playing career included two stints in the Midwest League. He batted .282 with 17 HR and 64 RBI in 58 games with the 2000 Beloit Snappers. He also played three games with the 2003 Clinton LumberKings, going 2-for-9 in 12 plate appearances.