FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the first time in six years and five seasons, the TinCaps will be run by a new manager.

Out goes Anthony Contreras, who was hired as the manager of Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley. In comes new skipper Brian Esposito, who spent the last seven years within the Pirates organization.

“Espo” is well-acquainted with the Hoosier state. He spent three seasons down I-69 as the manager for Indianapolis.

“It is kind of cool that I spent a lot of time in the great state of Indiana,” Esposito said Monday. I think that the Midwest game of baseball is kind of underrated.”

Esposito understands the challenges of managing both the lower and upper tiers of the minor league system. With his return to the High-A level, he hopes to prepare the players for what’s expected as they progress through the Padres organization.

“For the most part I’ve established a lot of relationships with a core of the guys that are going to be here,” Esposito said. “This is a really good group of young men.”

The TinCaps open the season on Friday with a 3-game series in Dayton. After a day off on Monday, Fort Wayne will have their home opener on Tuesday night against the South Bend Cubs.