Non Roster Invitee: Matt Stairs – Padres

MLB 2008 - NLCS Game4 - Phillies Beat Dodgers 7-5Matt Stairs, 42, looks to embark on his 18th season in the majors. This time Stairs is trying to make the Padres who would be the twelfth different team for the journeyman slugger.

Only pitchers Mike Morgan and Ron Villone have been on as many as 12 different teams.

Stairs admits he thought his career was about over when he signed a two year deal with Toronto in 2007, he went on to join the Phillies and now finds himself working as hard as ever to make the Padres as a left handed bat off the bench.

While losing weight has helped, Stairs also shaved his face and says that embracing the role of a pinch hitter is what has allowed him to thrive in the role.

Stairs is a career .268 pinch-hitter with 19 home runs. He has a career .377 on-base percentage coming off the bench. He also finds himself one home run behind Cliff Johnson for the most in a career as a pinch hitter.

It’s almost hard to believe Stairs hit 38 homers in 1999 or that he drove in 100 runs back to back in 1998 and 1999. Since his time with Oakland his at-bats and productivity have slowly declined but that’s not to say he can’t still get around on a pitch. As recently as 2008 he hit 21 homers and 28 doubles in 357 at-bats with the Blue Jays.

It’s hard to read too much into pinch hitters stats from year to year as they seem to change as much as the weather from 5 am to 2 pm but Stairs really struggled last season and one has to wonder if his age has caught up with him.

Thus far Stairs has put himself in position to make the Padres with a .263 average this spring in 19 at-bats. If he does make the team look for him to be used frequently by the friars

much the same way that his 103 at-bats last season came in 99 games.

Non-Roster Invitees
Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
66 Simon Castro R/R 6-5 210 04/09/88
73 Cory Luebke R/L 6-4 215 03/04/85
76 Wynn Pelzer R/R 6-1 205 06/23/86
53 Jackson Quezada R/R 6-3 215 08/09/86
41 Mark Worrell R/R 6-1 215 03/08/83
Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
68 Mitch Canham L/R 6-2 205 09/25/84
70 Michael Collins R/R 6-3 215 07/18/84
72 Chris Stewart R/R 6-4 210 02/19/82
Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
74 James Darnell R/R 6-2 195 01/19/87
67 Logan Forsythe R/R 6-1 205 01/14/87
75 Lance Zawadzki S/R 5-11 195 05/26/85
Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
77 Chris Denorfia R/R 6-0 205 07/15/80
16 Matt Stairs L/R 5-9 200 02/27/68