Jayce Tingler had struck out 70 times and drawn 177 walks as a Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer when Texas selected him in the 2005 Rule 5 draft. The pick was championed by a young scouting executive whose interest had been piqued by the 5-foot-8 center fielder with minimal power and uncommon plate discipline. Tingler played one season in the Rangers system before embarking on a career off the field. He and A.J. Preller, the executive who helped bring him into the organization, grew close as they worked together. Years later, the Rangers barred Preller from bringing Tingler with him to San Diego. When a reunion became possible in late 2019, some baseball officials considered it a fait accompli.

Preller, the Padres general manager, indeed hired Tingler as Padres manager. They have since navigated a pandemic, a successful 60-game season and, this year, 67 games of heightened expectations.

It could be going better.



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