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Hoffman to work with pitchers full time in new role

PHILADELPHIA -- Trevor Hoffman is getting back in a Padres uniform, as Thursday he was named the team's upper level pitching coordinator and special assistant to general manager Josh Byrnes.

Hoffman, who turns 46 next month, notched 601 saves over an 18-year Major League career -- with 552 of those saves coming with the Padres from 1993-2008.

This newly created role will see him working with pitchers at the Double-A, Triple-A and big league levels with an eye on communication and preparing younger pitchers for what it will take to succeed in the Major Leagues.

"When we decided to go two hitting coaches, the job had become too big for one person," Byrnes said. "It's the same thought process now. He'll make sure we communicate and do everything we can do to help finish these guys off as Major League pitchers."

Hoffman, who for the past three seasons reported to former Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel, will offer more than just mechanical tips and fixes.

"I'm definitely excited about really being more integrally involved with guys pushing the big league level. … It's about finishing some guys off, filling their toolbox with more information so that they can reach the Major League level," Hoffman said.

Randy Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development and international scouting who, oddly enough, was the general manager when the team obtained Hoffman from the Marlins in 1993, thinks that Hoffman is the ideal guy for this job.

"His ability to communicate with [manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley], he brings that instant credibility … it's a natural fit," Smith said. "It's sort of like having two hitting coaches at the big league level. It makes sense. And, he's going to make us better."

Hoffman, who pitched in 2009-10 with the Brewers before he retired, has since been out of uniform, other than stretches in Spring Training and when he helped with Minor League affiliates. But this move, this job, represents a full-time return to baseball.

"I think it's a great thing for us, for Trevor, for our pitchers to have him involved on an everyday basis," Black said. "He likes the ballpark, he likes that environment. It's going to get his juices flowing.

"All the way around, there's a lot of positives."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.
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