Dodgers Announce 2019 Coaching Staff

(Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon announced their big league coaches for the 2019 season, with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (14th season), bench coach Bob Geren (fourth season), first base coach George Lombard (fourth season), bullpen coach Mark Prior (second season) and assistant hitting coach Brant Brown (second season) all returning with Dino Ebel joining the field staff as the third base coach, Robert Van Scoyoc as hitting coach, Aaron Bates as assistant hitting coach and Chris Gimenez as the game planning coach.

  • Dave Roberts – Manager (fourth season)
  • Bob Geren – Bench Coach (fourth season)
  • Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (14th season)
  • Robert Van Scoyoc – Hitting Coach (first season)
  • Brant Brown –Hitting Strategist (second season)
  • George Lombard – First Base Coach (fourth season)
  • Dino Ebel – Third Base Coach (first season)
  • Mark Prior – Bullpen Coach (second season)
  • Aaron Bates – Assistant Hitting Coach (first season)
  • Chris Gimenez – Game Planning Coach (first season)

Ebel, 52, returns to the Dodger organization as the third base coach following 14 seasons in the Angels’ organization, including spending nine seasons as the third base coach on the major league Staff (2006-14, ’18) and four seasons as the bench coach (2005, 2015-17). Last year, Ebel was also the Angels outfield coach, a position he held previously from 2011-15, and in 2017 he handled infield coaching duties as well. Ebel joined the Angels organization in 2005 as the manager for Triple-A Salt Lake following 17 seasons with the Dodgers as a minor league player, coach and manager. He started his coaching career in 1991, serving as a player-coach with Single-A Bakersfield until 1994. He then held the same role with Single-A San Bernadino in 1995 and then became a full-time coach in 1996. Ebel began his managerial career in 1997 with Single-A San Bernardino, then was the skipper for Rookie-level Great Falls in 1998, Single-A Yakima in 1999, once again for Single-A San Bernadino in 2000, then Single-A Wilmington in 2001 and was the manager for Double-A Jacksonville from 2002-04.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Ebel played six professional seasons with the Dodger organization after signing with the club in 1988 as a free agent. The former infielder posted a career .255 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage, while also being named Gulf Coast League Player of the Year in his rookie season in 1988 with Rookie-level Sarasota.

Van Scoyoc, 32, takes over as one of Los Angeles’ hitting coaches after spending last season with the Diamondbacks’ organization. This appointment will mark Van Scoyoc’s first time on a coaching staff at the major league level and returns to the Dodger organization after spending 2016-17 as the club’s hitting consultant. The Santa Clarita Valley native has worked with Major League hitters as a private hitting instructor since 2011, most notably with two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger award winner J.D. Martinez and Dodger infielder/outfielder Chris Taylor.

Bates, 34, is in his fifth season with the Dodger organization and will be appointed assistant hitting coach for the big league club, his first time on a major league staff. In addition to his responsibilities at the big league level, Bates will be involved with the development of the organization’s minor league hitters. Following his playing career, Bates began his coaching career in 2015 as the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers hitting coach for two seasons. In 2017, he was the hitting coach with Single-A Great Lakes, and last season, he spent time as the organization’s assistant hitting coordinator. Bates was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the 2006 draft out of North Carolina State University and spent eight seasons (2006-14) in the minor leagues as an outfielder in the Red Sox, Twins, Cardinals and Dodger organizations. He posted a .278 career batting average with 77 home runs and 358 RBI and also appeared in five big league games with Boston in 2009 in his only big league action.

Gimenez, 35, joins the Dodgers as the game planning coach following a 10-year big league career with the Indians (2009-10, ’14, ‘16), Mariners (2011), Rays (2012-13), Rangers (2014-15), Twins (2017-18) and Cubs (2018). Gimenez was drafted by Cleveland in the 19th round of the 2004 draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno and posted a .218 career batting average with 24 home runs and 89 RBI over 391 career major league games. He spent the majority of his career as a catcher, appearing in 292 career games, but also saw time at first base, third base, left field and right field, while also making 10 pitching appearances.

(Lauren Douglas furnished the information provided in this report)


32 thoughts on “Dodgers Announce 2019 Coaching Staff

  1. Wow. Couldn’t they find anyone in their own organization to fill these vacancy’s? Von Scoyoc has never donned a MLB uni until now. His claim to fame is making a hitter out of JD Martinez. He also worked for the Dodgers in 16 and 17 for a while. But is he all that? Are they going to try for more homers and use his launch angle philosophy, or will they actually use some situational hitting for a change. Taylor was ok the first year after working with the guy, but he totally regressed last year. I would much rather have someone as coach who actually could hit when he was a player.

      1. Not that I have seen. He did not even play baseball until college I think. How can a guy with that little training teach anyone how to hit.

      2. From George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman:

        Bob: I’m so discouraged. My writing teacher told me my novel is hopeless. Jane: Don’t listen to her, Bob. Remember: those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

        What matters is results. The Dodgers must believe this guy can make a difference. I’ll reserve judgment.

        I’ve been thinking that Cleveland is not really going to trade Kluber, MIGHT trade Carrasco, but in all likelihood is actually going to trade Bauer. Am I the only one? And, I think LA might be a good spot for Bauer. He might be just the kind of pitcher Friedman likes – 28 starts, 164 innings of 3.5. He’s from SoCal and sure wouldn’t cost as much as those other 2. Anyone interested?

      3. I’m all in on Bauer. Very talented and very cerebral. He’s what Greinke would be like if he actually spoke. Just saw him interviewed this morning. He actually has an MRI on his shoulder and elbow every off season so he can see any change from the previous year, and if there is evidence of a problem he can work to alleviate it before it gets worse. He trains differently every off season depending upon what his analysis of his game shows his weak spots were from the previous year. He may be the best interview in all of baseball (assuming you like listening to smart, forward-looking ballplayers). Is launching his own media company to bring baseball-related information to the public. Actually told the Indians that his analysis showed that they would be better off trading Kluber this off season and him next off season, based on contract excess values.

  2. I have no doubt that Van Scoyoc can teach an individual how to hit “his” method. I am not surprised that some of his, Wallenbrock, and Latta disciples are successful. But how can Van Scoyoc discern a hiccup in a swing for a batter who does not apply his methodology. Hitting is an art that Van Scoyoc etal are trying to make a science. There are 750 ML players and there are 750 ML approaches and swing mechanics. Van Scoyoc has never faced a professional pitcher in any fashion. His highest competition was at a JC along the Central Coast which is a feeder into Cal Poly SLO. He has never worked as a COACH for a team. There is a huge difference between a coach and instructor. If you have never worked with 25 different swings, how can you possibly find the problem if you only know one way. Anybody knows a player’s swing when it is good, and knows when it is bad. But it is the coach that can look at film and get the batter back to where he hit when things were going good. Has Van Scoyoc ever done that? He can tear down and build up a swing and has a resume to show that. But he has never shown that he can work with 25 different ML egos and 25 different ML swings and made the correct diagnosis and adjustment. It is only a matter of when, not if, a player goes off and tells Van Scoyoc, “You have never faced Max Scherzer, so how are you going to tell me how to hit him or any other ML pitcher.”

    Good luck to the Dodgers. I hope it works. Maybe it will for CT3.

    1. I get what you’re driving at jef, and for the most part I agree.

      I did my share of coaching, as high as JC softball. My instructors taught me to drill basic fundamentals, so, that’s what I did and it worked at every level I coached. What I see in guys like Taylor and Bellinger is something that isn’t really new. Swinging for the fences has been around since Abner was a minnow. It was very much discouraged years ago, but then most of my students were not the enormous highly skilled athletes we see playing today. Launch angle makes sense if you have Bellinger’s size and fast twitch makeup. The average MLB player is 6’2” 190+ and professionally weight trained. Damm. These are big, strong dudes. A warning track fly ball from the average sized high school player is deep in the seats for MLB players. What I would strongly emphasize at that level is pitch recognition, strike zone management, and hit it where it’s pitched. It appears for the most part the Dodgers do all that. As antithetical as much of it appears to an old coach like me, I can see it working. The Dodgers led the NL in runs, total bases and OPS. Who am I to suggest shortening up with two strikes?

      Scoyac must be a steely eyed exit velocity genius or Friedman would not have hired him. I look forward to what he might bring to the table.

    2. I know we all have our opinions on the Van Scoyoc hiring. It will either work or it won’t, but I think we need to realize that he wasn’t hired because someone pulled his name out of a hat. I don’t think the interview went “Well Robert, you helped Chris a little so let’s see what you can do for the other guys.” I’m sure Andrew has done a deep study on Van Scoyoc’s hitting theories and has talked to a number of people who have worked with him. I just find it hard to believe that if his entire theory is launch angle that Friedman would have given him the job. I’m thinking that Friedman and Van Scoyoc have similar theories on hitting and that’s why he’s the new hitting coach. It may prove to be a bad choice, but I don’t think it was made in a vacuum.

      1. That was Friedman Dennis? Well, it was Minnesota so nobody noticed.

        I’m old too, but I’m very immature for my age.

        I typed out a long and decidedly penetrating post for this response, my handyman showed up, so I hit POST COMMENT, and left the area. Came back and my epigrammatic creation had disappeared. Pithed me off. (see what I did there)

        Oh well. More material is just below the surface.

        On my to defend Yimi.

  3. I too will reserve judgment until we see how the first part of the season and spring training go. But, I do not think all the coaching in the world for launch angle or whatever addresses what was the main problem for the Dodgers last season and at times the season prior, that is driving in runners in scoring position. They may have led the league in all those different stats including homers, but they were flat ass pitiful with runners in scoring position. Kemp was the best on the team in that stat all year. Machado did pretty good too. But even Turner for one of the few times in his career hit under .300 in those situations. I do not think a forward thinking hitting strategist is going to change all that over night. We do not even know what the roster will look like yet. The non tender deadline is tomorrow. If they non tender anyone, I think pitchers are the most likely suspects. Fields and Garcia mainly. Rumors still churning over this supposed trade with the Indians. But it seems focus has shifted from Kluber or Carrasco to Bauer. And for some reason it seems that Puig is in that conversation. I would not trade Puig straight up for Bauer. Kluber yes, Bauer no.

    1. No doubt that Bauer is a bit of a flake, but one year of Puig for two years of Bauer, count me in. Of course, if we get any of the three pitchers the deal will have to include more than Puig. Now that we hear the Pirates are willing to listen on Cervelli I hope we go after him. One year left on his contract and he would be the perfect bridge to our young catchers. Apparently we’ve made an offer to Garrett Richards which I’m very much OK with. Won’t pitch next year so the contract would be for at least 2 years. Padres supposedly also hot for him. By the way, anyone have any idea of how Muncy would be as a left fielder? Maybe we’d be better off moving Bellinger back to first, Max to left and CT3 or Verdugo to center. All of that assuming we don’t wind up with Stanton. I know Scoop is working diligently behind the scenes to make that happen.

      1. I understand why Bear said what he did about Puig, but Bauer seems to have found himself the last 2 years. 5.7 WAR last year. I think I would do that deal.

        Did somebody sign Wilson Ramos? If not, then why not him? Ruiz is 2 years out. Ramos would work until then. So would Cervelli of course, but he would cost money, $11.5mm, and prospects.

      2. I assumed that Ramos would get himself a 3 or 4 year contract. If we could get him for 2 years, I would have no problem with that and we could save the prospects for another deal.

  4. I am just not trading a guy who plays 130 plus games a year for a flakey guy who is going to win maybe 10 games if he stays healthy. Puig is the best RF in the game defensively. Now if he goes off track and flounders because Ward is gone, well so be it. But they have plenty of outfielders, and if I am trading any of them, it is either the unproven guy at the MLB level, Verdugo, or the vastly underachieving Pederson. Throw in a couple minor league guys, and maybe Wood and get Bauer and Gomes. But they need relievers more than starters. Just does not make sense unless Friedman plans to trade a couple of the starters like Stripling and Wood. But second base and catcher need to be addressed. It is all just rumor anyway, and you Stanton dreamers keep it up. It is amusing to me to even think that Friedman would take on that contract. Signing Harper is even more of a stretch. Story this morning said Machado is seeking a deal at 40 mil a year average. He is also dreaming.

    1. That’s what I’ve been saying all November—Dodgers shouldn’t deal any valuable resources for starting pitching. Grab a starting catcher, shore-up the bullpen, and then if you want to splurge a little more, go ahead. Ya gotta prioritize relief pitching in a big kind of way.

    2. OK, let’s agree to disagree. Bauer has actually won 29 games over the past two years. I believe that’s better than any Dodger starter. He’s pitched about 350 innings, better than any Dodger pitcher over the past two years. His FIP and ERA+ numbers last year were better than any Dodger pitcher in either 2018 or 2017. I’m a huge Puig fan, but I still make that trade, either for Bauer or Kluber. By the way Bauer was interviewed on MLB this morning. Take a look if you have a few minutes. They went over a wide range of topics, including the fact that he says that the Indians would be better off trading Kluber this year and him next year, based on contract surplus value. Disclaimer: I am not related to Trevor Bauer nor am I his agent.

    3. Remember Peter Brand? “Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players, it should be to buy wins. And in order to buy wins you have to buy runs” We must add ”prevent runs” to that as well. Friedman will be looking at buying and preventing runs. While it’s true Stanton’s contract is huge, a strong argument could be made that he earns the money. If we can keep bringing up young players that provide WAR for cheap, we can have a few stars like Stanton play in LA. That said, something I feel needs to be added here is that fans in Los Angeles didn’t seem to mind winning with a troupe of platoon players. Though we had a couple guys make the All Star team, this year’s cast wasn’t blockbuster Hollywood.

  5. Ramos is unsigned so far. When the winter meetings start next month is when a lot of those guys will sign. Suzuki, Mathis and McCann the only free agent catchers who have found new digs.

  6. If I am the Dodgers, I would be filling the needs not trading for something I do not really need. They do not need Kluber, Bauer or any other starting pitcher. They need a catcher, 2nd baseman and bullpen help. They have a starting pitching surplus as it stands. The front 5, Kershaw, Hill, Buehler, Ryu and Maeda are all very good pitchers. The guys they have behind them, Urias, Stripling, Ferguson, Stewart, are not bad backups. The bullpen is much more unreliable than those guys. If I am trading Puig, I want a frontline catcher or second baseman, and a reliever who can shut the door. Not some cerebral starter who is as flakey as they come when I in reality do not need one. If anything I am trading a starting pitcher for help in one of those spots that need it. As for Stanton, well, if they move Puig, he would be a fit, and since he only has 9 years left on that mammoth contract, 4 of which he might be worth the money, maybe they can get him. But they are not going to make a huge free agent splash. That’s almost certain. And who would the Yankees want in return for Stanton? Nobody has addressed that little item anywhere.

    1. OK Bear. I think you feel more strongly about your position than I do about mine, so we’ll do it your way. 🙂

  7. Richards signs a 2 year deal with the Padres. Pretty bad when a guy choses their offer over the Dodgers. Shows the lack of prestige the organization has now.

    1. Could also be that the Pads offered 2/15 and we offered 2/10 because we already have so many starters and want to use our resources for a catcher, 2nd baseman and a couple of good bullpen guys. I’m not sure prestige has anything to do with it. After all, any organization who has Van Stoyoc as it’s hitting coach is loaded with prestige.

      1. That seems to be the case. Report I just read on twitter said that this morning it looked like Richards and the Dodgers had a deal. Then the Pads swooped in with a better offer. So basically he will get 15 million for pitching a year in San Diego. There is pretty much zero chance he toes the rubber this year. A report is also on there that says the Dodgers and Indians are still in talks and if the deal is completed, the Dodgers would get 1 of the Indians starting pitchers, It did not specify which one. Mets and Mariners should complete a deal sending Cano and Diaz to the Mets for a couple of top prospects and Jay Bruce.

  8. I was thinking about this a while ago. If they are indeed chasing a starter from Cleveland, I am wondering if Andrew might have something else afoot that involves the Dodgers sending a starter somewhere else for a catcher or a second baseman if Gomes is not part of a Indians trade. Now that would make more sense. One guy on twitter keeps saying that the Dodgers should go after old friend Russell Martin to bridge the gap to the new guys. But Martin is going to be 36, is owed a ton of money and only played 91 games last year and hit under .200. LA wants an upgrade or something a lot better than that kind of production.

    1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Andrew ship out one or two starters while bringing in one of the Cleveland guys. He tends to run his front office like a chess game, always thinking three or four moves ahead. Sometimes he waits a long time and we think he isn’t going to do anything and then he makes all his moves at once. I still think there will be some major changes to the roster, although I’m not exactly sure what my definition of “major” is.

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