Padres hire Canadian Matt Stairs as major league hitting coach
San Diego Padres' Matt Stairs watches the path of his home run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning during a baseball game, in Seattle on May 22, 2010. The San Diego Padres hired Canadian Matt Stairs as their major league hitting coach on Monday. Stairs, from Fredericton, N.B., spent this past season as hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Elaine Thompson
October 30, 2017 - 10:05 PM
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres hired Canadian Matt Stairs as their major league hitting coach on Monday.
Stairs, from Fredericton, N.B., spent this past season as hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies, his first professional coaching position. He replaces Alan Zinter, who was fired on Sept. 1.
Stairs is the Padres' ninth hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004.
"We're thrilled to have Matt join our coaching staff," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He did a tremendous job with the Phillies' young players last season and brings a wealth of hitting knowledge to our ball club."
The 49-year-old played for 12 different franchises over the course of a 19-year MLB career, including with San Diego in 2010. Stairs also played for both the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays.
Stairs is the all-time leader in pinch hit home runs with 23 and second in league history in home runs by a Canadian-born player with 265. Larry Walker of Maple Ridge, B.C., is the leader with 383 homers.
"Matt possesses a true understanding of and passion for hitting," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. "Throughout his playing career, he was a student of the game. In this process, we looked for teachers who could make an immediate impact with our players, and Matt brings invaluable knowledge and experience both as a coach and as a 19-year Major League veteran."
The left-handed hitting Stairs spent time after his playing career — which ended in 2011 — as a broadcaster for a variety of networks.
— With files from The Associated Press
News from © The Canadian Press, 2017