Dodgers Should Look at Former Players to Fill Current Coaching Vacancies

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The Dodgers have quite a few coaching positions to fill this off-season. Former third base coach Chris Woodward accepted the skipper job with the Texas Rangers and took assistant hitting coach Luis Ortiz with him. Bench coach Turner Ward took the same position with the Cincinnati Reds, and pitching coordinator Danny Lehman will not be returning to the club.

According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Dino Ebel will become the Dodgers’ new third base coach. Ebel has been both a player and a coach for the Dodgers before, as a minor leaguer and then a player-coach in the California League. He served as Manager Mike Scioscia‘s bench coach from 2013-2017, and was the Angels’ third base coach last season.

As there is not much news going on at the moment, I decided to have a little fun with who should fill the open slots for coaching positions in the Dodgers organization. With a little hope from Twitter, I present to you the 2019 coaching staff.

Hitting coach—This one was simple: Chase Utley. (We’re just going to completely disregard that he retired to spend more time with his family). Utley is the ultimate gamer, and would be a quiet, steady rock for whom manager Dave Roberts could converse and bounce moves off of. He would continue to be Enrique Hernandez‘s dad, and influence on Corey Seager and whoever ends up playing second for the Dodgers this year. Chase will be seen in the dugout staring down the Mets’ dugout for that entire series. He would also double as the sliding coach. (There probably isn’t a sliding coach, but he should be it, anyway).

(Close second: Tim Wallach. Surely he misses Los Angeles and being on a winning team. And now that the the home run sculpture is gone from Miami, what good reason could there be to want to stay there?)

Third Base Coach—There are quite a few good options for here, but ultimately I have to go with Juan Uribe. His mannerisms and antics waving players home would alone be worth the price of admission. His friendships with players on the team would lead to some awesome hit celebrations, and I’m certain he would have hand signals with all the players. And Uribe and Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu together again? Yes, please!

Assistant Hitting Coach—No one better than Captain Clutch, Andre Ethier. Think about it, who would be better to help a team that has a problem with plating runners in scoring position than a man who repeatedly did just such a thing?

Pitching CoordinatorA.J. Ellis. Now this one is a little outside of the box, as Ellis is still currently employed as a catcher with the San Diego Padres and is not a pitcher. But, he has a ton of experience calling games, and has worked with an incredible range of pitchers. Most importantly, though, he is Clayton Kershaw‘s best friend and could help the future Hall of Famer work on becoming another Greg Maddux. He could be a player-coach, filling in behind the plate when needed.

When you think about it, the possibilities are endless. Adrian Gonzalez as first base coach. Brett Butler base running coach. Brandon McCarthy, he of the nice pitching career, for an assistant pitching coach and social media consultant. The Dodgers’ front office is keen on internal options to keep their filled, maybe they should look within in their alumnus for their coaches. What former Dodger do you think would be a great addition to the coaching staff?

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8 thoughts on “Dodgers Should Look at Former Players to Fill Current Coaching Vacancies

  1. Let’s give Chase a year with his family and then bring him back as bench coach when Geren ultimately leaves. I agree that we need to bring back Juan Uribe in some role. Great in the clubhouse and the fans loved him. I think that Ethier would actually be a great primary hitting coach. Bellinger has often spoken of how Andre helped him through his first season, hitting and in other ways as well. He would be a great addition to the staff. You mentioned AJ Ellis. If all other options don’t work, why not bring him back as our alternate catcher. His hitting has actually improved since he left although I think some of his defensive metrics may not appeal to Andrew. Lastly, let’s make a deal for Greinke who can serve as a starter and also as General Manager. Many people have spoken about his expertise in scouting and front office operations. What a great idea. Glad I thought of it. 🙂

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  2. All great ideas. I always liked Juan, and his HR against the Braves to win that series is legendary. Ellis is a free agent. And I do believe that AJ is going to be a great coach somewhere when he decides to hang em up and why not with LA. Ethier would be a great fit also. I do not think at this point in time that Utley would consider coaching. But he is an LA native and he would be close to home. It would just be all the travel that he would not like. Atlanta strikes the first free agent blow signing Josh Donaldson to a 1 year 23 million dollar deal….wow…..and they bring back Brian McCann on a 1 year deal, so I guess they are out of the Realmuto sweepstakes. Cano said to be on the market. But who isn’t in Seattle. Maybe LA can swing a deal and bring Corey’s brother Kyle to LA. Just kidding, he is not replacing JT. CJ Cron claimed by the Twinkies on waivers.

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    1. I agree, all great ideas. Utley may be amenable to hanging around and helping out. He won’t stay completely away from the game. He’s only 40. He could coach locally and be home most every night. Ethier and Uribe? Absolutely yes. If they want in, bring them in.

      Wilson Ramos. I wonder if we can sign him for a few years and bring along Ruiz slowly. He would be worth it.

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  3. Looks like Robert Van Scoyoc is going to be the new hitting coach. If his name is vaguely familiar, he’s one of the guys who worked with CT3 and JD Martinez to revamp their swings.

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  4. Dino Ebel. former Angel coach to be the 3rd base coach. Van Scoyac to be the hitting coach. Really? His all or nothing approach sucks. A guy like Martinez can pull it off since he is a power hitter anyway, but CT3? Guy should be learning how to shorten his swing instead of all that launch angle crap. Y’all want to see 170 plus strikeouts again? And why go outside the organization for these guys? Friedman is grasping at straws. Free agent pieces starting to move…….Oh yeah, for you Stanton geeks, he struck out over 200 times last year. That is a lot of wasted at bats. Between him, Taylor and Bellinger, that would be 530 K’s…….wow……

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    1. I’m not crazy about excessive strikeouts either Bear. But nobody is going to buy a ticket to see Chris Taylor in uniform. Giancarlo Stanton is an everyday star who had over 700 plate appearances. He scored 100 and knocked in 100. Taylor is a valuable utility guy who runs into one on occasion. Amazingly those two put up equal WAR, which is all that matters to a guy like Friedman. Strikeouts are now a peripheral stat. Entertainment isn’t. Nobody will leave their seats when Stanton is due up. Chris Taylor? Well, when you gotta go……

      I don’t know much about Scoyac is, but I’ll read up more later. It’s interesting that he, like Ward, is a Diamondbacks instructor. He’s only 32, and from what I’ve read so far he’s exactly what Friedman wants in a coach. Hey, you are all over 6’ tall, weigh over 200 pounds, have personal strength coaches and swing maple bats. The parks are smaller now than they’ve ever been. Swing hard, hit the ball in the air and you will OPS .800.

      I just read that the Padres are interested in Syndergaard. That’s curious. Are they closer than we thought? 80 wins maybe? They get him and they could go over .500. They’ve got something going on down there.

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