MISSOULA — The Missoula PaddleHeads first got a new name and now a new manager.
The PaddleHeads, previously the Osprey, announced Darrin Garner as their third manager in three seasons. Missoula, the Rookie League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, finished 40-36 overall in 2019 under Juan Francia.
Garner, 54, a Los Angeles native, is a 28-year pro baseball veteran who was drafted in the first round of the 1985 June draft secondary phase by the Texas Rangers. He spent seven seasons in the Rangers’ farm system, advancing as far as AAA Oklahoma City in 1991.
After his playing career, Garner spent time as the Rangers’ GCL hitting coach and High-A hitting coach. He moved to the Seattle Mariners organization, earning his first managerial position as their AZL skipper in 1997. Garner continued with the Mariners through 2015, serving as the hitting coach in Short-Season A Everett and as a minor league coordinator.
Garner was most recently the coach of the Rookie League AZL D-backs in 2019 after serving as the manager in 2018.
Garner is joined in the dugout by bench coach Mike Benjamin, who was the manager in 2017 and 2018 and the bench coach in 2019. Manny Garcia, the 2019 pitching coach, will return in the same role. Jose Amado will return to Missoula as the hitting coach, the same role he served in 2018.
Rounding out the field staff are athletic trainer Chris Schepel, video assistant Joe Hirsch, and a strength and conditioning coach to be named at a later date.
The PaddleHeads open the 2020 season on June 19 when they host the Idaho Falls Chukars.