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Padres let go of Matt Stairs as hitting coach

Matt Stairs served as the Phillies hitting coach in 2017. (Brandon Apter/SportsTalkPhilly)

This Saturday, Philadelphia Phillies fans will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Matt Stairs’ pinch-hit home run in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS. Though Stairs’ home run is considered by many to be the most important home run in Phillies franchise history, the 50-year-old probably won’t get much of a chance to enjoy the anniversary.

According to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, the San Diego Padres have decided to part ways with Stairs as their hitting coach. The Padres had baseball’s 28th best offense in Stairs’ lone season as manager Andy Green’s hitting coach.

Stairs served as Pete Mackanin’s hitting coach in 2017 for the Phillies. His work with Aaron Altherr drew praise, though the Phillies elected not to retain Mackanin after the 2017 season. Despite Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams both speaking highly of Stairs’ work as their hitting coach, Stairs elected to take the Padres hitting coach job after 2017, with an uncertain future after the Phillies tabbed Gabe Kapler to be their next manager.

Prior to becoming the Phillies hitting coach, Stairs spent three seasons as a color commentator for Phillies broadcasts on NBC Sports Philadelphia. He also worked as an analyst for NESN in Boston before returning to Philadelphia in 2014. It’s possible Stairs could resume his career in media if he isn’t able to get a job in coaching.

It will be interesting to see if the Padres moving on from Stairs at all affects their interest in trading for Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported in July that the Padres had some interest in trading for Franco. That may not have had much to do with Stairs’ presence in San Diego. However, despite Franco having had a disastrous 2017 season when Stairs was the hitting coach, Stairs said prior to that season that Franco reminded him of his former MVP teammate Miguel Tejada. It’s possible that Stairs at least was a factor in the Padres interest in Franco this past summer, and Stairs is now out of San Diego with a Franco trade seeming to be a very realistic possibility this offseason.

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