SAN ANTONIO – In one month’s time, MLB pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
Before you know it, players will be making their way down for the start of the Minor League Baseball season.
The Missions, who made headlines over the offseason after being sold to a local ownership group, will have new leaders in the clubhouse for 2023. That’s after Phillip Wellman moved up to the San Diego Padres Triple-A team in El Paso.
Wellman spent five seasons with the Missions before moving up. He’ll make his Triple-A coaching debut for the Chihuahuas on Saturday, April 1.
With the departure of Wellman, the Missions have a new manager for the season. Former MLB catcher Luke Montz will lead San Antonio in 2023. This will be his first season with the Padres organization and his first as manager of a Double-A ballclub. Montz is entering his fourth season as a manager in MiLB.
Montz, who is 39, spent 13 seasons playing for five different minor league baseball organizations. He suited up in MLB for both the Washington Nationals and the Oakland Athletics.
Joining Montz will be some new coaches making their first appearances inside the Missions clubhouse. Jeff Andrews, who was the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach in 2008, will join San Antonio for the first time in his 38th season as a professional coach. Andrews spent the last two seasons with the Frisco RoughRiders.
Pat O’Sullivan is entering his sixth season in the Padres organization and will be San Antonio’s hitting coach.
Former infielder Felipe Blanco, who spent seven seasons playing in the Padres organization, including time with the Missions in 2016 and 2017, will be the team’s bench coach.
The Missions will start their 2023 season on the road, taking on the Tulsa Drillers in a three-game series beginning Thursday, April 6. San Antonio will play their first game at the Wolff on Tuesday, April 11, against the Frisco RoughRiders for a six-game series.
Opening Day for MLB is Thursday, March 30.
NEW GEAR FOR 2023
For those of you who need some new Missions merch for the 2023 season, the team announced the return of some popular items including some retro caps. You can find more options by visiting the Missions online store.
Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 19 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email email@example.com.