The Padres have brought in a familiar face to take the place of the late Darrel Akerfelds in the bullpen.
The Padres have named Willie Blair as the new bullpen coach, replacing Akerfelds who passed away from cancer in June. Blair has spent the last two years as the pitching coach for the Low-A Fort Wayne Tincaps.
Blair, who is 46, is also a former Padres pitcher. He pitched for the 1996 Padres, who won the NL West. Blair pitched for parts of 12 Major League seasons and won 16 games in 1997, while pitching for Detroit. Blair has had his hand in developing some of the top Padres pitching prospects in the organization. He should be a tremendous addition to the Padres staff.
The Padres offered the job to former MLB pitching coach Bob McClure, but he turned down the job for family reasons. The Padres have not announced who will take Blair’s place in Fort Wayne.