05/17/2003 11:03 PM ET
Balsley named pitching coach
SAN DIEGO, CA -- The San Diego Padres today relieved Greg Booker of his duties as the team's pitching coach and replaced him with Double-A Mobile pitching coach Darren Balsley. Executive Vice President/General Manager Kevin Towers made the announcement.
"We would like to thank Greg for his contributions to the Padres organization, both as a player and coach, but we just felt that it was time for a change" said Towers. "Based on Darren's history with members of our pitching staff, we believe that he is the right guy to instill confidence in our young staff."
Balsley, 38, has served as pitching coach in the San Diego organization since 2000. Named to the Mobile coaching staff in 2002, he guided the pitching staff to a 3.37 ERA last year, good for second best in the Southern League. The season before, he was a member of the 2001 Co-California League champion Lake Elsinore Storm, where his staff ERA of 3.03 led the Cal League circuit.
A 1982 graduate of San Diego's Mt. Carmel High School, Balsley was named co-recipient of the 2001 Jack Krol Award, given annually to an outstanding contributor in player development in the Padres organization. Prior to joining the Padres, Balsley spent 10 years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, serving as the club's minor league pitching instructor for seven years, two as a minor league manager and one as Major League advance scout.
A first-round pick by Oakland in 1984, Balsley's pitching career consisted of six minor league seasons with the A's and Blue Jays where he compiled a career record of 24-25.
Booker, who pitched in parts of seven seasons for the Padres, was in his sixth year as a coach for the organization. He served as San Diego's bullpen coach for four-plus seasons before assuming his role as pitching coach on June 17, 2001.
Booker spent all or part of eight seasons in the Major Leagues from 1983-90, going 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 161 career appearances. He pitched for the Padres from 1983-89 making him one of only four Padres (Bruce Bochy, Tim Flannery, Tony Gwynn) to have been a part of both San Diego World Series clubs (1984, 1998).
Balsley is scheduled to join the team tomorrow night in Milwaukee in preparation for the club's three-game series against the Brewers.