An overview of the Padres’ 2021 coaching staff
An overview of the 2021 San Diego Padres’ coaching staff.
The San Diego Padres are gearing up to start the season in just a matter of days, and the fanbase is brewing with excitement. Sure, the Padres added Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Mark Melancon, and many others. They are being pegged as early favorites to make a deep run, and some have this group as a legitimate World Series contender- a testimony that hasn’t been attributed to the Padres for a long, long time.
However, everybody already knows that. What most people don’t know is this coaching staff. Jayce Tingler was hired, and many slammed A.J. Preller for hiring his “buddy” from the Texas Rangers organization.
As it turns out, in his first year as a manager at the big league level, Tingler surprised many and ended up bringing this team to the playoffs and winning a playoff series despite the tough COVID-19 situation and protocols.
Tingler got criticized, specifically for his tendencies regarding the bullpen and his “mismanagement” of relievers, although that’s easier to say watching from home than in reality. Nonetheless, Tingler proved that one thing he always does is trust his instinct, whether it backfires or not, and that’s something every championship manager needs (just ask Dave Roberts).
All in all, enough about Tingler: everybody knows the story by now. Let’s dive in and examine some of the other feature members of this 2021 Padres coaching staff with Opening Day right around the corner.
Larry Rothschild, Padres Pitching Coach
Rothschild is a long-time staple at the big league level and is returning for his second season at Petco Park. To be honest, his job should be much easier this time around, thanks to the additions of Snell and Darvish and the fact that Dinelson Lamet was phenomenal last year as well.
Rothschild has been doing this for a long time, a quarter-century in fact. Whenever you can do something that long, it’s not because you’re lucky, rather it’s because you’re really good at your job.
He was the pitching coach with the New York Yankees for nine seasons, and during that time, the Yanks led the American League in wins and strikeouts- so that’s a good sign.
Perhaps the thing Padre fans want to see most is how Rothschild develops Chris Paddack, who got beat up last season after a marvelous rookie campaign in 2019.
Skip Schumaker, Padres Associate Manager
Schumaker is on the younger side of coaches on the staff at the age of 40. However, there’s a reason he has the label as Associate Manager. Schumaker isn’t too far removed from his big league playing days and can help provide Tingler with lots of insight.
It will be his fourth year on a major league staff and his sixth in the Padres organization. Schumaker’s biggest experience might be the fact that he won a pair of World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals as a player, a feat that not many people can say in their lifetime.
If the Padres aim to make a deep run, perhaps his experience playing deep into the playoffs could help this team benefit in more ways than many originally thought.
Damion Easley, Hitting Coach
Just give this guy a raise, shall we? Easley returns as the Padres hitting coach and after the year Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, and others had, he deserves a raise in all honestly. Add in more weapons and a full, real Spring Training, and this team should hit the cover off of the baseball in 2021 with one of the best, most well-rounded lineups in the entire Major Leagues.
It will be exciting to see what Easley can do to develop Fernando Tatis Jr., Trent Grisham, and others as the team fights for a World Series berth, something they’ve longed for since 1998.
Bobby Dickerson- bench coach/third base coach
Glenn Hoffman retired after years of manning the third base coaches’ box, and it will be so strange seeing another coach wave Padres home. However, here steps in Bobby Dickerson.
Dickerson was the bench coach in 2020. The experience he brings to the table is second to none, not just from his playing days but also his coaching days.
He spent seven years as a player in the minors and has been in the realms of the coaching world for nearly 30 years.
Dickerson should be Tingler’s go-to man solely based on his previous experiences at the big league level, and it sure seems that he knows a thing or two, considering he was named Major League Coach of the Year by Baseball America last season.
Wayne Kirby– first base coach
Kirby’s role goes way behind his official title of first base coach. In fact, Kirby also is in charge of outfield and baserunning instruction. He’s in his second year with the Padres organization, and before that, he spent eight years with the Baltimore Orioles (Manny Machado’s old squad).
It’s no secret the Padres were aggressive on the basepaths last year, and 2021 shouldn’t be any different. When the top of the lineup has two speedsters in Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr., it’s a luxury. By the way, in case you missed it, Tatis scored from third base on a POP UP in Spring Training.
Tatís Jr. at it again! He tags up and scores on a pop-up in to short left field ⚡️@Padres l @tatis_jr l #PadresST pic.twitter.com/7Bjm0jTuoZ
— Fox Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) March 13, 2021
For what it’s worth, the Padres tallied a total of 50 snags on the base paths, with the aforementioned two players in double-digits. Not bad for a shortened season, and the Padres should be towards the top of that category in 2021.
The Remainder of Coaching Staff
Ben Fritz- bullpen coach
Rod Barajas– quality control coach
Ryan Flaherty– scout/development coach
Keith Werman- development coordinator
Peter Summerville- coaching assistant
Matthew Wadleigh, born in Oceanside and currently lives in Fresno. He lives with his wife and 2 dogs and is a sports enthusiast. Retired drummer and member of the Fresno State Marching Band. He has been a Padres fan since childhood and has suffered during the struggles just like everybody else.