The San Diego Padres will be looking for a new bench coach for the 2019 season as Mark McGwire has stepped down from his position with the team.
Padres bench coach Mark McGwire has informed the team that he will be stepping down from his role as bench coach.
The decision was not made by Andy Green or upper members of the Padres’ front office, but it is reported that he is stepping down to spend time with his children as they enter high school.
McGwire signed on to be the bench coach in 2015, shortly after Dave Roberts, the previous bench coach, became the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He served his role dutifully, filling in for Andy Green whenever the latter was ejected from ball games, and even holding him back from umpires and calming his rage. He served as a hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2010-2012 and served the same role with the Dodgers from 2013-2015.
While an opportunity to stay with the team remains, it is highly unlikely that McGwire would like to go that route. The role would have to be one that isn’t very tenuous for McGwire, but McGwire has made up his mind to step away from coaching, at least for the time being.
Bench coach Mark McGwire informed the Padres earlier this month that he won't be returning next season. That leaves the Padres with a third coaching-staff vacancy to fill.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) October 23, 2018
With the departure of McGwire, the team now has three coaching vacancies that must be filled. Matt Stairs and Josh Johnson (not to be confused with the former Padres pitcher) were vacated from their positions as hitting coach and infielders coach, respectively.
San Diego will be looking to fill the spots from within the organization instead of an outside source. An early candidate to fill the role is El Paso manager Rod Barajas, who was with the team in September after El Paso’s season ended. He knows many of the players who are on the rise, like Jacob Nix and Luis Urias, having managed them when they were still Chihuahuas, and would help ease the transition from minor leagues to major leagues.
Another El Paso coach could very well make his way to the Padres’ dugout; Morgan Burkhart, the hitting coach at Triple-A, is an internal option to replace Stairs. He is well-liked by both his players and his peers and has helped mold players like Franmil Reyes and Urias.
While McGwire’s departure leaves a hole, it is expected that a replacement will be announced in the coming months, and no other turnover is foreseen.