In spite of the 2019 World Series continuing to take center stage for the next 24-48 hours, the Dodgers have still found a way to weasel themselves into the news, at least to a small degree.
During the offseason, sometimes the coaching staff of the Dodgers takes as hard of a hit as the player roster as far as personnel goes departing the team.
The winds of change have already started to blow for the Dodgers after their crushing defeat in the NLDS. Today, President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman held his year end press conference.
Fans may have thought that negotiations between the Dodgers front office and manager Dave Roberts have been temporarily shelved, but today the team announced that it has agreed to a four-year contracts with their manager.
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.
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.
Many people close to the Dodgers were thrown for a loop not long ago when third base coach Chris Woodward packed his bags for Texas and hitting coach Turner Ward headed eastbound to Cincy, leaving Los Angeles in a scenario where the club needed to fill two critical coaching spots.
In case you missed it earlier this weekend, the Dodgers announced two additions to their major league field staff as former big leaguers Brant Brown and Luis Ortiz will each serve dual roles of assistant hitting coach and minor league hitting coordinator.
(Photo credit: Jon SooHoo)
Up until the beginning of the 2016 season, from Joe Ferguson to Davey Lopes, every Los Angeles first base coach over the past 25 years has been a player for the Dodgers at some point in their careers. What’s more, the club has actually seen less first base coaches than managers during the exact 25-year time frame.
George Lombard, however, has never (officially) played for the Dodgers. Better still, Lombard has never coached in the majors prior to arriving in Los Angeles. Yet as his fellow coaches and players get to know him, they are quickly discovering that Lombard may be bringing more energy and enthusiasm than any of his predecessors.