Bob Melvin should finally bring stability to the San Diego Padres coaching staff in 2021 and beyond.
The San Diego Padres are once again headed into a new season with a whole new coaching staff.
This week, former manager Jayce Tingler announced that he will be the Minnesota Twins bench coach for the 2022 season. Next, Bobby Dickerson left the Padres a few weeks ago for a job with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lastly, Skip Schumaker went back home to St. Louis to work in the Cardinals organization. These three men were pivotal in developing players in 2021, and they are all employed elsewhere now.
With that kind of turnover seemingly year after year, the Padres players are forced to learn new philosophies and ideas about the game of baseball.
This kind of change cannot be productive, and it hasn’t been for the San Diego Padres since A.J.Preller took over in late 2014. The Padres are going on their fourth manager (not counting Pat Murphy and Rod Barajas) and employed countless hitting coaches and bench coaches in the last seven years. Darren Balsley spent 17 years as the Padres pitching coach, and even he did not survive the turnover. After the 2019 season, Balsley was asked to work with the minor leaguers, and his coaching position was awarded to Larry Rothschild. That turned out to be a failure for the Padres.
New philosophies and ideas are fine, but at some point, you need consistency.
The Padres, at one time, spoke about a new concept for the franchise. Andy Green spoke about playing the game a certain way and implementing a “Padres way” to play the game of baseball. The team used this mantra to organize the whole franchise and get all the affiliates on the same page. Organization is vital, as you do not want players learning to play the game differently at every level in their minor league development.
The “Padres way” is still in the beginning stages and has stalled out.
In time, with consistency, this could be something to preach. But, for now, it is all talk, and that does not go far in the game. The Padres need to show consistency with their coaching staff. They need to find the correct men to help bring something unique to San Diego. And most importantly, they need to keep them in-house and not allow these great coaches to move on to other organizations. The players will respond with consistent teachings, and the minor league system will finally reap the results as major league player development improves.
Bob Melvin will need to find a staff that is committed and able to bring a baseball culture to San Diego. Not an easy task, but the Padres and their ownership group are committed. It is now time to put that commitment into a coaching staff and allow them to do what they were hired to do.