SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres today named Willie Blair as the club’s bullpen coach and Brett McCabe as the club’s strength and conditioning coach. Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Byrnes made the announcements.
Blair, 46, joins the Padres coaching staff after spending the previous two seasons as pitching coach for the organization’s Midwest League affiliate in Fort Wayne. He made his coaching debut for Single-A Fort Wayne in 2011 and has had pitchers finish among Midwest League leaders in ERA in each of his two campaigns with the TinCaps. This past season, his pitching staff posted a 3.59 ERA (489 ER/1225.1 IP) helping the club advance to the Midwest League playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
“We’re excited to have Willie join our coaching staff,” said Padres Manager Bud Black. “He brings a strong fundamental knowledge of pitching to our club that will show in his teachings. With Darren and Willie working together, we feel our staff will continue to get the best out of our pitchers.”
A native of Kentucky, Blair enjoyed a playing career spanning parts of 12 Major League seasons from 1990-2001, including two with the Padres from 1995-96. He was originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an 11th-round selection in the 1986 First-Year Player Draft out of Morehead State University (KY). The right-hander went 60-86 with a 5.04 ERA (713 ER/1274.0 IP) in 418 Major League games, 139 starts for the Blue Jays (1990), Cleveland Indians (1991), Houston Astros (1992), Colorado Rockies (1993-94), Padres (1995-96), Detroit Tigers (1997, 1999-2001), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998) and New York Mets (1998). In his two seasons with the Padres, he went 9-11 with a 4.46 ERA (100 ER/202.0 IP) in 100 games, 12 starts.
McCabe, 33, joins the Padres organization after spending the previous seven seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He most recently served as the Dbacks’ minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, overseeing strength and conditioning programs for each of the organization’s seven minor league affiliates.
“Brett comes to the Padres with a strong passion and knowledge in the field of strength and conditioning,” said Black. “We look forward to watching him grow and become a vital part of our staff.”
Prior to joining Arizona, McCabe served three seasons as a strength and conditioning coach in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization at Double-A New Haven in 2003 before taking over at Triple-A Syracuse from 2004-05. Born in West Bloomfield, Mich., McCabe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in movement science at Grand Valley State University (MI) in 2002 and is a licensed massage therapist, registered strength and conditioning coach and certified strength and conditioning specialist.