El Paso Chihuahuas
Founded in 2014
El Paso, Texas
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassTriple-A (2014–present)
LeagueTriple-A West (2021–present)
DivisionEast Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamSan Diego Padres (2014–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (1)2016
Conference titles (2)
  • 2016
  • 2017
Division titles (4)
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
Team data
NameEl Paso Chihuahuas (2014–present)
ColorsBlack, red, tan, white
       
MascotChico
BallparkSouthwest University Park (2014–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
MountainStar Sports
General ManagerBrad Taylor
ManagerEdwin Rodriguez

The El Paso Chihuahuas are a Minor League Baseball team of the Triple-A West and the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. They are located in El Paso, Texas, and play their home games at Southwest University Park, which opened in 2014. The Chihuahuas moved to El Paso from Tucson, Arizona, where they were known as the Tucson Padres.[1] They played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) until the 2021 restructuring of the minor leagues when they shifted to the Triple-A West. The Chihuahuas won the PCL championship in 2016.

History

Previous teams

The Chihuahuas' heritage can be traced back to the establishment of the original Los Angeles Angels in 1903. These Angels (the namesake of the current Los Angeles Angels) were one of the eight "core teams" of the PCL during its heyday in the 1950s. In 1957, the team was sold to Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley as a harbinger of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles the following year.

For 1958, the Angels moved to Spokane, Washington, and became the (original) Spokane Indians. In 1972, the team moved again, this time to Albuquerque, New Mexico. As the Albuquerque Dukes, many of the team's star players and manager Tommy Lasorda formed the core of a Dodgers franchise that won the 1977, 1978, and 1981 pennants and 1981 World Series title.

After nearly two decades, the Dukes moved to Portland, Oregon, and became the latest version of the Portland Beavers in 2001. That franchise lasted 10 seasons until the inability to get a new ballpark to replace what is now Providence Park (renovated to accommodate the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer) led to a relocation. At first, the plan was to move to Escondido, California, about 40 miles (64 km) north of San Diego, as a club owned by the San Diego Padres. But once again, a new ballpark proved elusive, and the team landed in Tucson, Arizona, as the Tucson Padres.

Coming to El Paso

On July 30, 2012, the Pacific Coast League gave preliminary approval to MountainStar Sports Group to buy the Padres, with the intent to relocate the franchise to El Paso for the 2014 season. The deal was approved on September 17, 2012, pending approval for a ballpark by the city council. Ballpark approval was made on September 18, with the mayor deciding not to veto the deal.[2] The final sale of the Padres to MountainStar Sports was approved on September 26, 2012.[3]

A name-the-team contest was held to decide the team's nickname. Finalists were Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas, Desert Gators, and Sun Dogs. The winning name was submitted by Shae Vierra. On October 22, 2013, the Chihuahuas name, logo and colors were announced.[1] The name is a reference to the Chihuahuan Desert encompassing the area. The team logo is a growling chihuahua dog.

Due to construction delays at the site of Southwest University Park, the Chihuahuas played their first 24 games of the 2014 season on the road, including a four-game series against the Reno Aces that was moved from El Paso to Tucson. The home opener finally took place on April 28, a 2–1 loss to the Fresno Grizzlies.[4]

On September 17, 2016, the Chihuahuas plated a run in the 11th inning to defeat the Oklahoma City Dodgers 4–3 to claim the El Paso's first ever PCL championship in just the franchise's third year of existence.

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Chihuahuas were organized into the Triple-A West.[5] El Paso ended the season in fifth place in the Eastern Division with a 46–74 record.[6] No playoffs were held to determine a league champion; instead, the team with the best regular-season record was the declared the winner.[7] However, 10 games that had been postponed from the start of the season were reinserted into the schedule as a postseason tournament called the Triple-A Final Stretch in which all 30 Triple-A clubs competed for the highest winning percentage over that stretch.[7] El Paso finished the tournament tied for 13th place with a 5–5 record.[8]

Season-by-season records

Table key
League The team's final position in the league standings
Division The team's final position in the divisional standings
GB Games behind the team that finished in first place in the division that season
Class champions Class champions (2014–present)
League champions League champions (2014–present)
§ Conference champions (2014–2020)
* Division champions (2014–present)
Season-by-season records
Season League Regular season Postseason MLB affiliate Ref.
Record Win % League Division GB Record Win % Result
2014 PCL 72–72 .500 10th 2nd 9 San Diego Padres [9]
2015
*
PCL 78–66 .542 5th (tie) 1st 1–3 .250 Won Pacific Conference Southern Division title
Lost Pacific Conference title vs. Fresno Grizzlies, 3–1
San Diego Padres [10]
2016
* § League Champions
PCL 73–70 .510 5th (tie) 1st 6–3 .667 Won Pacific Conference Southern Division title
Won Pacific Conference title vs. Tacoma Rainiers, 3–1
Won PCL championship vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers, 3–1
Lost Triple-A championship vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders[11]
San Diego Padres [12]
2017
* §
PCL 73–69 .514 5th 1st 5–3 .625 Won Pacific Conference Southern Division title
Won Pacific Conference title vs. Reno Aces, 3–0
Lost PCL championship vs. Memphis Redbirds, 3–2
San Diego Padres [13]
2018
*
PCL 82–57 .590 2nd (tie) 1st 2–3 .400 Won Pacific Conference Southern Division title
Lost Pacific Conference title vs. Fresno Grizzlies, 3–2
San Diego Padres [14]
2019 PCL 80–60 .571 3rd (tie) 2nd 3 San Diego Padres [15]
2020 PCL Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)[16] San Diego Padres [17]
2021 AAAW 46–74 .383 10th 5th 25 5–5 .500 Won series vs. Sugar Land Skeeters, 3–2
Lost series vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers, 3–2
Placed 13th (tie) in the Triple-A Final Stretch[8]
San Diego Padres [6]
Totals 504–468 .519 19–17 .528

Notable players

Cody Decker, during his tenure with the Chihuahuas, at 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game
Cody Decker, during his tenure with the Chihuahuas, at 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 47 Caleb Boushley
  • 41 Mason Fox
  • 33 Jordan Guerrero
  • 14 Nick Kuzia
  • 91 Aaron Leasher
  • 22 Adrian Martinez
  • 18 Evan Miller
  • 48 Alex Powers
  • 29 José Quezada
  • 38 Ethan Routzahn
  • 46 Jesse Scholtens
  • 40 Luke Westphal
  • 24 Steven Wilson

Catchers

  • 25 Michael Cantu
  • 11 Yorman Rodríguez
  • 64 Wynston Sawyer

Infielders

  •  8 Matt Batten
  •  3 Gosuke Katoh

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

7-day injured list
* On San Diego Padres 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated December 2, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Triple-A West
San Diego Padres minor league players

References

  1. ^ a b Hill, Benjamin (October 22, 2013). "Chihuahuas rule the day in El Paso". MiLB.com. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Mayor decides against veto, baseball in downtown by 2014" Archived 2013-01-27 at archive.today. KVIA. Retrieved 09-20-2012.
  3. ^ MountainStar Sports buys Tucson Padres
  4. ^ El Paso Chihuahuas 2014 schedule. Retrieved 04-18-2014
  5. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "2021 Triple-A West Standings". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "MiLB Announces 'Triple-A Final Stretch' for 2021". Minor League Baseball. July 14, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "2021 Triple-A Final Stretch Standings". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "2014 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "2015 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "El Paso vs. Scranton/WB - September 20, 2016". Minor League Baseball. September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "2016 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "2017 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  14. ^ "2018 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "2019 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  17. ^ "Chihuahuas Announce 2020 Home Season Schedule". El Paso Chihuahuas. Minor League Baseball. October 21, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2020.