Rebuilding Padres hire Matt Stairs as hitting coach

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The rebuilding San Diego Padres have hired Matt Stairs as their hitting coach.

Stairs replaces Alan Zinter, who was fired on Sept. 1. Stairs is the Padres’ ninth hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004.

The move was announced Monday.

Stairs, 49, spent the 2017 season as the hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies, his first professional coaching position. He played parts of 19 seasons in the major leagues with 12 different franchises, including the Padres in 2010.

General manager A.J. Preller says Stairs “possesses a true understanding of and passion for hitting.”

Stairs is baseball’s career leader in pinch-hit home runs with 23 and ranks second in homers by a Canadian-born player with 265, trailing only Larry Walker (383).

Stairs is perhaps best-known for a big homer that decided a playoff game, his pinch-hit, two-run shot off Jonathan Broxton in Game 4 of the 2008 NL Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.

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