Former Major League manager to lead Eugene

Former Major League manager to lead Eugene

EUGENE – The San Diego Padres announced today that Greg Riddoch has been named manager of the Eugene Emeralds for the 2007 season. Padres Vice President/Scouting and Player Development Grady Fuson made the announcement. Rounding out the Emeralds field staff is pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Jose Flores and athletic trainer Nathan Stewart.

Riddoch managed the Emeralds for six seasons, in 1975-76 and from 1978-81, posting 227 wins as well as claiming three division titles (1975, 1978, 1980) and two Northwest League championships (1975, 1980). Riddoch currently stands second on the Emeralds all-time managerial win list behind Hugh Luby (235) who guided Eugene in 1957-58, 1966 and 1974. Riddoch managed the San Diego Padres from 1990-92 posting a 200-194 record over parts of three seasons. Riddoch was inducted into the Eugene Emeralds Hall of Fame during the 1999 season.

Since leaving Eugene in 1981, Riddoch has held a variety of positions in baseball, mainly in the areas of player development and scouting. In addition to his major league managerial experience, Riddoch has twice been a major league bench coach, first with the Padres (1987-89) and then with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-99). Riddoch was Director of Player Development for the Cincinnati Reds (1985) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1999-03). Riddoch made a successful return to the NWL with Spokane in 2005 leading the Indians to the Northwest League championship. Riddoch makes his post-season home in Longmont, Colorado.

Whitehurst returns to Eugene to coach the Emeralds pitching staff for a third season. Whitehurst made his professional coaching debut in 2004 with the rookie level Peoria Padres of the Arizona League. The Peoria pitching staff featured 23 different players that season and posted a 3.70 staff earned run average. In 2005, Eugene pitchers were just as successful. The Emeralds staff compiled a 3.78 ERA while posting just 34 wins. The Ems pitching staff also established a Northwest League record, as Eugene became the first team to ever allow fewer than 200 bases on balls in a campaign. The Emeralds 182 walks allowed led the league by 32. Last season, Eugene hurlers posted an impressive 3.54 ERA, good for third in the league.

Whitehurst was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 3rd round of the 1985 First Year Player Draft and would make his pro debut with the Medford A's where he led the NWL in strikeouts with 91. Whitehurst pitched for the New York Mets (1989-92), San Diego Padres (1993-94) and the New York Yankees (1996) during his seven-year Major League career. Overall, Whitehurst appeared in 163 games with 66 starts while posting a 20-37 record and a 4.02 ERA. Whitehurst makes his off-season home in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Flores makes his coaching debut with the Emeralds this season. Selected by the Phillies in the 34th round of the 1994 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas, Flores compiled a .280 batting average with 32 home runs and 417 RBI in 1,163 minor league games as a utility infielder with the Philadelphia, Seattle, Milwaukee, Colorado, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles (NL) organizations over 12 seasons. Flores made his major league debut with the Athletics in 2002 and again with the Dodgers in 2004. In all, Flores played in 16 MLB games hitting .143-0-0 with seven at-bats. In 2005, with Las Vegas, Flores hit .336 with four home runs and 42 runs batted in 96 games for the 51's, the Dodgers affiliate in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Flores resides in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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