New San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin has rounded out his coaching staff with the addition of Matt Williams, a former All-Star third baseman and Washington Nationals manager, and Bryan Price, former manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Williams, best known for his 10 seasons with the NL West rival San Francisco Giants, will be third base coach. Price will be senior adviser to the coaching staff.
Melvin, who was hired on Oct. 28 to replace the fired Jayce Tingler, announced his new staff Monday. Pitching coach Ruben Niebla was hired by general manager A.J. Preller a few days before Melvin’s hiring was announced.
Perhaps the most intriguing member of the staff is hitting coach Michael Brdar, 27, who was San Francisco’s minor league hitting coordinator in 2021 and assistant hitting coordinator in 2020.
The rest of the staff includes bench coach Ryan Christenson; first base coach and outfield instructor David Macias; catching coach Francisco Cervelli; and bullpen catcher Herberto Andrade. Returning to the staff are quality control coach Ryan Flaherty, bullpen coach Ben Fritz, and game planning and coaching assistant Peter Summerville.
Melvin takes over an exciting team led by All-Stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado that imploded down the stretch, going from having a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot on Sept. 9 to being eliminated from playoff contention with eight games to play.
Williams spent the last two seasons as manager of the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. He was Melvin’s third base coach for the Oakland Athletics from 2018-19. Williams managed the Washington Nationals from 2014-15, going 179-145 and being voted NL Manager of the Year in 2014.
Williams played 17 big league seasons with San Francisco, Cleveland and Arizona. He played in three World Series with three different teams and became the first player to hit at least one World Series homer with three different clubs. He was a five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Price managed Cincinnati from 2014-18, going 279-387. He was pitching coach for several teams, including under Melvin with Seattle and Arizona.
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Melvin said Brdar “talks the language that younger hitters are coming up and talking now. On the hitting end you need to be able to reach these guys and speak their language.”
Melvin said he knew 20 minutes into their interview that he would hire Brdar. “He blew me away,” the manager said.
“If you told me three or four years ago I would have a 27-year-old hitting coach, I probably would have said no,” Melvin said. “But he is that good, that knowledgeable ... just a really, really smart kid.”
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