Murphy named Padres' interim manager
Roberts returns to role as bench coach after replacing Black for one game
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres played for their third manager in three days on Tuesday.
Pat Murphy was named the team's interim manager prior to the Padres' 6-5 loss to the A's, getting elevated from the club's Triple-A El Paso team. He replaces Dave Roberts, the interim manager on Monday night after Bud Black was dismissed earlier that day.
"The biggest thing is the continuity," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said. "He knows our players in our system. He's managed quite a few of the players here, either in the Minors or rehabilitation assignments. He's been around them in Spring Training."
Murphy, 56, a longtime coach at Notre Dame and Arizona State, has never worked at the Major League level. He admits there's a learning curve ahead.
"But hopefully it's not very long," Murphy said. "I don't know the answer to that, but I'm not a guy who's going to sit around."
Preller said Murphy will bring "a different voice," and he seemed to imply Murphy would have a sharper edge than Black did.
"When you look at a manager, you're looking for a guy who's able to connect with young guys, somebody who's not afraid to challenge somebody," Preller said. "Guys that can hopefully get some veteran players to play as well as they've played in the past."
Though Preller's offseason overhaul was impressive, it's yet to transfer into better results. The Padres, who haven't finished above .500 in four straight seasons, entered Tuesday with a 32-34 record.
Preller is confident Murphy can flip the Padres.
"I think he's shown, at least in short time I've been able to know him, but definitely in the time he's been here in the organization, that he's going to talk to players," Preller said. "He's going to be pretty upfront and honest with guys."
This is Murphy's sixth season with the Padres, including parts of the last three seasons as their Triple-A manager, where he went 180-172. He also managed at short-season Class A Eugene, and he was a special assistant to baseball operations in 2010.
"It's definitely an opportunity that he's earned, and I think it's is a chance for him to go out for the team to go out and show what he's capable of," Preller said. "I think we'll re-evaluate as we go and at the end of the year."
Murphy said being the Padres' manager past this season is appealing.
"I started to get more and more interested in it as I got into pro ball," Murphy said. "I didn't think this was the direction I was going, but as I got into pro ball and started to learn a little bit more -- I got a ton to learn man, a ton -- but yeah, I started thinking about it a little bit more that maybe this might be something that might be fun."
Preller said there are no other changes to the staff, with Roberts returning to his previous role as bench coach.