11:01AM: The Padres have hired Rob Marcello as the new pitching development coordinator, according to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin (via Twitter). Marcello has spent the last two seasons as the pitching coach for the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate
8:18AM: After Ron Washington was initially linked to the Padres’ managerial search, reports from last week suggested that the Padres weren’t planning to interview the Atlanta third base coach. However, “Washington remains a possibility,” according to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, considering that the club has yet to make a hire as we approach November.
The Braves’ extended postseason run could be the reason for the delay, as the Padres have been forced to wait on Washington while other known candidates (such as Luis Rojas, Mike Shildt and Ozzie Guillen) were more immediately available for interviews. It doesn’t seem like San Diego is on the verge of a hire, as Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller told Acee and other reporters that the team may not have their new manager in place for the start of the GM Meetings on November 8, which was Preller’s initial target date.
We now know the World Series will go at least five games, and thus through October 31. November 3 is the scheduled date for a potential Game 7, so it could be another week before Washington is free to speak with the Padres. (Or, conceivably, with the Mets about their managerial vacancy, though New York would likely first want to complete their PBO/GM search before turning to the manager job.)
Should another candidate wow the Padres in the interim, Washington could be out of luck. But a source tells Acee that the Padres aren’t rushing to speak with Washington since he is already a known quantity — after all, Washington was a finalist for San Diego’s last managerial opening, as the Padres opted for Jayce Tingler over Washington in October 2019. One interesting suggestion is the idea that another candidate (Rojas is mentioned for this possibility) could wind up as the bench coach on Washington’s staff.
In other coaching news, Preller said that interim pitching coach Ben Fritz will return to the team in 2022 and resume his former duties as bullpen coach. Fritz was promoted to the pitching coach job in August when Larry Rothschild was fired, and San Diego now has a new full-time pitching coach in the newly-hired Ruben Niebla.
The Padres have also made two more organizational changes, as The Athletic’s Dennis Lin (Twitter links) was among those to report that the team parted ways with pitching development coordinator Steve Lyons and strength and conditioning director Dan Byrne. Lyons and Byrne had both been with the Padres since 2013, making them the latest long-time employees to depart in recent weeks as the club has undergone something of a minor shakeup. As reported last month, farm director Sam Geaney and coordinator of advance scouting Preston Mattingly also won’t be back in 2022. Interestingly, Lin notes that the Padres seemingly decided to replace Lyons before Niebla was hired, though Niebla and Lyons previously worked together in the Guardians organization.