Padres mulling options for bench coach

With rookie skipper at the helm, San Diego may look for experienced support

Padres mulling options for bench coach

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres haven't said that they want to add a bench coach who has experience with the job -- or who has possibly even managed -- though they probably wouldn't mind it either.

Manager Andy Green, who has been on the job for eight days, spent his first week making calls to players on the roster while also trying to assemble a staff, most notably talking with incumbent coaches who are without contracts.

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Last weekend, Green met with Darren Balsley, the team's pitching coach. Balsley, San Diego's pitching coach since 2003, left with an agreement on a new contract. Glenn Hoffman, the team's third-base coach the past 10 seasons, will also return. Hoffman works with the team's infielders.

As for the bench coach position -- a vital role, especially for a manager like Green who is lean on experience -- no hire appears imminent.

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"We're still talking to some of our own guys and looking at a few others names as well," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.

To date, the Padres haven't offered any coaching jobs to external candidates, but they have had discussions with a few. One of those potential candidates is Ron Gardenhire, the former longtime Twins manager, who was one of three finalists for the job that eventually went to Green.

The team is also said to have had a conversation with Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach about the position as well.

"We've talked about having coaches that are knowledgeable," Preller said. "You always want to have guys who complement your [manager's] skill set. I don't look at it where it has to be someone who has to fit three or four experienced criteria, guys who have managed or coached before."

Do the Padres feel the urge the hire a right-hand man for Green who has spent a great deal of time in a big league dugout?

"In my mind, every single coach position should provide value to team," Green said. "I would love experience for the bench coach position, but more than anything, someone who wants to push things forward for the organization."

How have teams typically handled the bench coach job for first-year managers?

Brad Ausmus, who recently finished his second season as manager of the Tigers, inherited a bench coach with experience in Gene Lamont, who was a holdover from Jim Leyland's staff.

Robin Ventura, who just finished his fourth season with the White Sox, had Mark Parent handle the bench coach job for four seasons. Parent had never been on a big league staff at the time he was hired.

In St. Louis, where Mike Matheny finished his fourth season, the team promoted assistant hitting coach Mike Aldrete to bench coach. He had never been a bench coach, but had been on a big league coaching staff.

Green said he was spending this week talking to players and coaches on the staff -- like hitting coach Mark Kotsay, who has one year remaining on his contract, bullpen coach Willie Blair, first-base coach Jose Valentin and assistant hitting coach Alonzo Powell.

Dave Roberts, San Diego's former bench coach, who did not interview for the Padres' managerial job, is considered a candidate to be the Dodgers' manager.

There remains a possibility that Green could bring a coach over from the D-backs, as he's not precluded from doing so.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.