After an amazing inaugural season for our Amarillo Sod Poodles, they have announced that Phillip Wellman is returning as the team field manager for the 2020 season. Wellman is the reigning Texas League Manager of the Year. Accompanying Wellman will be pitching coach Jimmy Jones, hitting coach, Raul Padron, fielding coach Freddy Flores, athletic trainers Drew Garner and Allyse Kramer, and strength & conditioning coach Sam Hoffman.

Wellman returns for his fifth season in the Padres organization and the 2020 season will be Wellman's 32nd season as a coach and 21st as a minor league manager. He led the inaugural Sod Poodles club to a Texas League Championship after finishing the regular season with a 72-66 record, clinching the third consecutive playoff bout for a Padres Double-A team and earning the first league title for San Diego’s Double-A squad since 2013.

Wellman's managerial career began in 1992 with the Baltimore Orioles Gulf Coast League affiliate. He has also managed Winston-Salem (Cincinnati Reds High-A) of the Carolina League (1996), Burlington (Cincinnati Class A) of the Midwest League (1997-98), Chattanooga (Cincinnati AA) of the Southern League (1999, 2001-2003), Mississippi (Atlanta AA) of the Southern League (2007-2010) and Arkansas (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim AA) of the Texas League (2014). In 2008, Wellman led the Mississippi Braves to a 73-66 record and a Southern League championship. In 2017, while with San Antonio, he eclipsed his 1,000th win as a minor league manager in April, finishing the 2017 campaign with 1,073 career wins. In 20 total seasons as a manager, Wellman is 1216-1281. The 58-year-old skipper was born in Marlin, Texas, but grew up in San Antonio, Texas. Wellman attended Madison High School, graduating in 1980.

“I am truly excited to return to Amarillo as the defending Texas League champions,” said Wellman. “But as good and enjoyable as 2019 was, that’s exactly what it was - last season. I’m looking forward to getting back and facing the new challenges of the new season ahead and developing more players to ultimately get them to the Big-League level.”

 

“The Padres are ecstatic to return Texas League manager of the year, Phillip Wellman, to HODGETOWN in 2020,” said Padres Director of Player Development, Sam Geaney. “Phillip will lead an exciting team on the field as we look forward to another successful season.”

 

"The 2019 season was one of the most storied and memorable inaugural seasons for a Minor League Baseball team,” said Sod Poodles President and General Manager, Tony Ensor. "We could not be happier than to have Phillip and his staff, who all played such an integral role in last season's success, return for a second consecutive year. Phillip is not only a great leader of young men in their pursuit to make the Major League level, but he has endeared himself and become a tremendous part of our Amarillo community. We believe that with the incredible talent of the San Diego Padres farm system along with our experienced staff, we can once again compete with the rest of the Texas League for another title!"

 

The Sod Poodles open the 2020 season on the road, Thursday, April 9, at Dickey-Stephens Park in Little Rock against the Arkansas Travelers (Seattle Mariners). Amarillo will host our 2020 home opener at HODGETOWN on Thursday, April 16 against the Travelers to begin their initial 11-game home stand. First pitch for the 2020 home opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.