San Diego Padres' third base coach Mike Shildt will be the Friars' newest manager, taking over from Bob Melvin, who left the team for the San Francisco Giants in October.
Shildt led the St. Louis Cardinals to three consecutive postseasons in 2019 through 2021, with a first place finish in the NL Central in 2019 and back-to-back World Series appearances in 2020 and 2021. After a messy split with the Cardinals that was chalked up to "spiritual differences," he joined the Padres in 2022 in a player development capacity and has served as third base coach throughout his two seasons with the team.
The decision to hire Shildt doesn't come as much of a surprise, but it does beg the question of what took them so long. Shildt and Padres colleague Ryan Flaherty were the first to be interviewed for the manager role following Melvin's departure, but the team have pushed their decision back multiple times, as they were originally expected to make an announcement two weeks ago. More names entered the conversation during the delay: former Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and former Los Angeles Angels manager Phil Nevin were both connected to the search.
General manager AJ Preller said of Shildt: “Mike is a proven winner as a manager at the Major League level, and he brings over two decades of experience in professional baseball to the position. In his time here, Mike has displayed a strong baseball intellect, a passion for teaching the game, and has established relationships with players and staff at both the minor and Major League levels. We believe that Mike is the right person to lead the Padres forward in our continued pursuit of a World Series championship.”
Shilt will lead the Padres all-star team for the next two seasons in hopes of the securing the franchise's first World Series victory since 1998.