October 10, 2018 / 1:02 AM / 9 months ago

Padres fire hitting coach Stairs

Matt Stairs’ reign as the San Diego Padres’ hitting coach was brief, as is typical for that position.

The team fired Stairs on Tuesday after one season on the job. He was the Padres’ ninth hitting coach in the past 15 years.

The Padres also fired infield coach Josh Johnson following a season in which they went 66-96 and finished last in the National League West.

Stairs’ offense struggled in 2018. The Padres ranked 28th of the 30 major league teams with 617 runs. They came in last in on-base percentage (.297) and tied for 27th in both batting average (.234) and slugging percentage (.380).

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the leading candidates to replace Stairs are Padres assistant hitting coach Johnny Washington and Morgan Burkhart, the hitting coach for the Padres’ Triple-A El Paso affiliate.

Stairs was in his second stint as a major league hitting coach, and both lasted just one season. He was in charge of the Philadelphia Phillies’ offense in 2017.

The 50-year-old Canadian played 19 seasons in the major leagues, appearing with 12 teams. A reserve on the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship squad, Stairs finished with a career .262 batting average, .356 on-base percentage, .477 slugging percentage, 265 homers and 899 RBIs in 1,895 games.

Johnson, 31, also spent just one season on manager Andy Green’s staff. A longtime minor-leaguer who never played in the majors, Johnson served as a manager in the Washington Nationals’ organization before joining the Padres this year.

—Field Level Media

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