Rod Barajas Promoted as San Diego Padres Bench Coach
All good things must come to an end, and the San Diego Padres announced today that Chihuahuas manager Rod Barajas will be joining the Major League club as a bench coach, replacing Mark McGwire following his departure.
San Diego manager Andy Green announced that Damion Easley will join the coaching staff for the 2019 season, as well as an infielder coach. Johnny Washington, who served as the Padres' assistant hitting coach last season, will switch over as the hitting coach in 2019. Returning coaches include Darren Balsley, bullpen coach Doug Bochtler, third base coach Glenn Hoffman and first base coach Skip Schumaker.
For Chihuahuas fans, they watched as Barajas coached El Paso to its third consecutive Pacific Coast League division title. The 2018 season marked Barajas' third year as a manager of the club and led the team to their franchise-best 82-57 overall record.
Barajas, 43, will nonetheless be known as a Triple-A patriot for El Paso.
Before his stint in El Paso, Barajas spent the 2015 season as a hitting coach for Single-A Lake Elsinore before eventually becoming the manager of Double-A San Antonio in June of 2015.
The 2014 season saw Barajas being the manager of the Padres' Rookie-Level affiliate in Peoria, Ariz.
He joined the coaching ranks after a 17-year playing career, with seasons spent with the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2003), Texas Rangers (2004-06), Philadelphia Phillies (2007), Toronto Blue Jays (2008-09), New York Mets (2010), Los Angeles Dodgers (2010-11) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2012).
Barajas, a former catcher, hit .235 (812-for-3460) with 187 doubles, one triple, 136 HR, 480 RBI and 396 runs scored in 1,114 career games. He initially signed with Arizona as a minor league free agent in 1996. Barajas was a member of the 2001 World Series Championship team. He played for Team Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
With the Padres, Barajas will reunite with the likes of Hunter Renfroe, Joey Lucchesi, Francisco Mejia, Carlos Asuaje, among others.