The Padres are hiring Matt Stairs as the team’s new hitting coach, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). Earlier today, FanRag’s Robert Murray reported that Stairs was the “strong favorite” for the job.
Stairs made his pro coaching debut in 2017, working as the Phillies’ hitting coach and drawing praise for his role in helping the team’s many young hitters. Still, with Philadelphia’s coaching staff in limbo after Pete Mackanin was removed from the manager’s job, there was already speculation that Stairs could depart for a more stable position elsewhere. Stairs will now move into another rebuilding situation with another collection of young players in San Diego, plus the added challenge of generating offense in traditionally pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Stairs spent the 18th of his 19 big league seasons with the Padres in 2010, hitting .232/.306/.475 with six homers over 111 plate appearances. The Canadian slugger played for 12 different teams over his career, hitting 265 homers and posting a very solid .262/.356/.477 career slash line, while also setting a new MLB record with 23 career pinch-hit home runs.