With just a few weeks remaining in the 2015 season, the Padres are starting to think about who will manage the club in 2016.
Interim manager Pat Murphy has gone 35-41 since he took over for Bud Black, and seems to have done a decent job managing the club. I’ve noticed players like Clint Barmes, Jedd Gyorko, and Austin Hedges get more looks in his system. His use of Gyorko at Shortstop and Travis Jankowski in Center Field give AJ Preller some more options when he goes to reconstruct the squad in the offseason.
But has Murphy shown enough to be considered for the job moving forward? If you recall, Preller declined Milwakee’s request to interview then triple-A manager Murphy for their head coaching vacancy, as if he was grooming him for the position from the beginning.
The players seem to respect and like playing for Murphy, they would like to see him keep the job in 2016.
"“Murphy’s done a great job,” said pitcher James Shields. “It was a tough situation to come into especially because of the fact that Murphy and Buddy were such good friends. He’s definitely a very intelligent manager. One of the reasons I came here was because of Buddy, but I’d be totally comfortable with [Murphy] coming back.”"
It’s great that the players love Murphy, but the players loved Bud Black too. It’s really hard to tell if Murphy’s mediocre major league record is due to his managing, or due to the Padre personnel. Either way, the Padres are likely to go in a different direction in 2016.
A high profile target for Preller has to be Brad Ausmus. Ausmus worked in the Padres organization before his short lived tenure in Detroit. It was surprising to see Ausmus let go after just two seasons. With his playoff experience and knowledge of both sides of the ball, the San Diego resident would be a great candidate for the job. Other options that have been discussed include Jason Varitek, Mark Kotsay, and Ron Gardenhire.
Of course the Padres will thoroughly explore all of their options before making an official decision this offseason. Corey Brock of MLB.com reported that the Padres “won’t rush to fill the manager position because of a high volume of teams that could be looking for a new manager.”
Good. The Padres need to really sit down and piece together a squad that can compete in 2016. This offseason though exciting, was rushed. It really felt like a collection of good players thrown together last minute. The Padres need to lock down a style of play, and utilize players that compliment each other if they want to stand any chance of competing in the NL West in the future.
What do you think? Who should the Padres hire as their manager in the offseason?