When they fired former manager Bud Black yesterday the San Diego Padres made it clear that they were going to find an interim manager for the club within 24-48 hours. Well, they’ve found one already in Pat Murphy, the manager of the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Murphy, 56, has been with the Padres organization for the past six years, spending parts of the past three seasons as manager of the Chihuahuas. He joined the organization in 2010 as a special assistant to baseball operations and was managing at Short Class-A Eugene by 2011, where he stayed for two seasons posting a .612 winning percentage. In 2013 he took over as manager of the Chihuahuas. Since then the club has gone 180-172 (.511).
Before joining the Padres, Murphy had a very short playing career in the San Francisco Giants’ and Padres’ organizations but went on to be a very successful coach at the collegiate level. Murphy coached at the University of Notre Dame (1988-94), Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1986-87) and Maryville College (1983) but his is best known for his time with Arizona State University from 1995-2009.
Murphy led the Arizona State to four College World Series appearances and four Pac-10 titles. He was named Baseball America’s College Coach of the Year in 1998 and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times. He’s clearly experienced and understands how to coach a winning ball club.
This could be a good move by Padres’ general manager A.J. Preller, who made the announcement this morning.
“Pat Murphy’s 30 years of experience coaching and managing, and his success at every level, stood out to me as I came to this decision,” said Preller. “His leadership ability, his respect in the clubhouse and his familiarity with our system will make this transition a smooth one for our players and coaching staff.
The Padres have been struggling of late much to Preller’s dismay. The team lost again Monday night to the Oakland Athletics, who are currently in fifth place in the American League West, by a score of 9-1. The team was managed last night by coach Dave Roberts.
Preller, who was named GM in 2014, came in and made some major off-season moves to improve the club. He brought in big name players like Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Wil Myers, Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel. Obviously, he wants results and Bud Black was not getting the right ones.
The Padres had been expected to be contenders in the National League West but are currently in third place. It’s Preller’s hope that Murphy can bring the Padres back into contention for the division title. Given that Murphy ended his college coach career with 1,000 wins there’s a chance he may be able to do that.