Padres Looking at Mark McGwire as Bench Coach


UPDATE 1PM:  This news now looks like a done deal.

With the 2015 San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts headed up the 5 to manage the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, their hitting coach might be headed the opposite direction to take the vacated bench coach position in San Diego. According to Dennis Lin of the UT, Mark McGwire is interested in the bench coach position and the Padres are interested in him taking it. The former slugger has been the hitting coach for the Dodgers for 3 years following 4 seasons with the Cardinals in the same capacity.

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Certainly McGwire would bring a wealth of experience to a San Diego club that has struggled to hit the ball with much consistency over the past few seasons. The Dodgers finished fourth, second, and second in National League OPS with McGwire as the hitting coach. The Padres finished 13th, 15th, and 13th. Of course having Adrian Gonzalez compared to Jedd Gyorko over that span will help. Former Padres hitting coach Mark Kotsay will not be returning as he is headed himself to be the bench coach for the Oakland Athletics.

This would be the last big spot for new Padres manager Andy Green. Alan Zinter was hired as the hitting coach with longtime pitching coach Darren Balsley returning for another season. The Padres are certainly not taking the status quo approach after a failed 2015 experiment, now the big question is if this time it will work?

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Last off-season the coaching staff wasn’t tinkered with much after a 2014 that was seen as subpar but excusable given the lack of impact talent. Bud Black was kept as the manager while the roster was upheaved. In June Black was fired after starting the season about .500 and Pat Murphy was named the interim manager. Under his leadership, the team did even worse though it is certainly not fair to blame him for the team’s shortcomings. Immediately after the season it was announced he was not returning and the Padres landed on Green despite other high profile candidates like Ron Gardenhire being interviewed.

With the GM Winter Meetings set to begin in the next couple of weeks, this was the time last year that Preller really got going with his Padres facelift. What will this year hold?