SAN DIEGO -- On Thursday morning, the Padres will unveil Jayce Tingler as the 21st manager in franchise history, putting the finishing touches on their month-long search for a new skipper.
Glad you asked. Padres fans could be forgiven for wondering about the new manager’s background. He’s not exactly a household name. Tingler has spent the past 14 seasons in the Rangers organization, serving in a number of roles -- from Minor League center fielder, to rookie ball manager to assistant GM.
Here are 10 things to know about the Padres’ new manager:
1. Tingler and Padres general manager A.J. Preller go way back. In 2005, Preller was the Rangers director of international and pro scouting when he selected Tingler during the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. A center fielder with excellent on-base skills but without much pop, Tingler never made it past Double-A.
2. Mariners manager Scott Servais gave Tingler his start in coaching. Servais was the Rangers' director of player development in 2006 when a 26-year-old Tingler approached him about potential coaching openings within the organization. At that point, Tingler realized a big league career was unlikely. But others in the Rangers organization felt he had a knack for instruction. Servais, as it would happen, had an opening.
3. Tingler's first job came in the Dominican Summer League. He coached there in 2007, then became manager of the DSL Rangers in 2008 and '09, finishing first in both seasons. Tingler, who could speak some Spanish before his arrival in the Dominican Republic, honed his language skills there and became fluent.
4. Tingler was born and raised in Smithville, Mo., and still lives there during the offseason. He played college baseball at Missouri with a handful of future pros, including Shaun Marcum. But Tingler's most interesting Missouri tie is Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler. The two played together at Mizzou in 2003 and were both drafted that summer. They were mainstays in the Rangers organization while Preller was there. Kinsler is currently entering the second year of his two-year deal with the Padres and is squarely on the roster bubble this offseason.
5. Tingler and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols are close. They played summer ball together in Missouri after Pujols moved there in the late 1990s. Both played for the Hays Larks in Kansas in the Jayhawk League. Upon word of Tingler’s hiring on Thursday, Pujols reached out to members of the Padres front office to express his enthusiasm with the decision.
6. Tingler has experience managing in three very different settings. He managed in the Dominican Summer League. He managed in the Arizona Rookie League in 2010 (before he was named as the organization's Minor League field coordinator). And this past offseason, Tingler managed Leones del Escogido -- and San Diego outfielder Josh Naylor -- to a 9-1 start in the Dominican Winter League before he was hired by the Padres.
7. Tingler never reached the big leagues as a player, but he spent parts of four seasons on the Rangers coaching staff. Tingler spent two years as Texas' field coordinator under Jeff Banister before a move to the front office in 2017. When Banister was dismissed in '18, Tingler served as interim bench coach, before he assumed the role of player development coordinator for the '19 season.
8. Clearly, coaching is in Tingler's blood. His mother has coached Smithville High School’s girls’ basketball team for 30 years and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame. His father was a hoops coach at nearby West Platte, before moving to Smithville. Jayce still owns the Smithville school records for points, assists, steals and 3-pointers.
9. For a big league manager, Tingler is young. At 38, he will be the second-youngest manager currently in the Majors, behind only Minnesota's Rocco Baldelli. (As a side note, former manager Andy Green was also 38 and the second-youngest manager in the big leagues upon his 2016 arrival.)
10. Tingler's greatest strength as a player happens to be the Padres' current biggest weakness. His skill set wasn't enough to get him to the big leagues, but, man, Tingler could reach base with the best of 'em. He posted a .483 on-base percentage in four years at Missouri, then a .378 mark in four years of Minor League ball. Even though he wasn't much of a power threat, Tingler walked at a 12.6 percent clip -- more than twice as often as he struck out. The Padres, meanwhile, have finished last in the Majors in OBP every year from 2014-18, before a 26th-place finish this year when their 1,581 strikeouts were tops in the NL and set a franchise record.