Dodgers Announce 2016 Coaching staff
December 24, 2015
The Dodgers have announced their Major League coaches for the 2016 season, with Pitching Coach Rick Honeycutt returning for an 11th season and Bob Geren joining the field staff as bench coach, Turner Ward as hitting coach, George Lombard as first base coach, Chris Woodward as third base coach, Josh Bard as bullpen coach, Tim Hyers as assistant hitting coach and Juan Castro as quality assurance coach. In addition, Steve Yeager will return for a fifth season as the club’s catching instructor.
Dave Roberts – Manager (first season)
Bob Geren – Bench Coach (first season)
Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (11th season)
Turner Ward – Hitting Coach (first season)
George Lombard – First Base Coach (first season)
Chris Woodward – Third Base Coach (first season)
Josh Bard – Bullpen Coach (first season)
Tim Hyers – Assistant Hitting Coach (first season)
Juan Castro – Quality Assurance Coach (first season)
Steve Yeager – Coach (fifth season)
Geren, 54, joins the Dodgers as bench coach following four seasons in the same position for the New York Mets. Prior to his time in New York, Geren spent 13 seasons in the Athletics’ organization, where he was a minor league manager for four years (1999-2002) before joining Oakland’s Major League staff as bullpen coach (2003-05) and bench coach (2006). In 2007, he was named the Athletics’ manager and guided the club to a 334-376 record (.470) over four seasons until June 9, 2011. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Geren played 15 professional seasons as a catcher in the Padres, Cardinals, Yankees and Red Sox organizations, including five big league seasons.
Honeycutt, 61, returns for an 11th season as Dodger pitching coach, with his tenure now extending to working under a fourth manager in Dave Roberts. Since he took the reins as pitching coach in 2006, the Dodgers lead all Major League teams in ERA (3.65), opponents’ batting average (.247), strikeouts (12,605) and WHIP (1.27). Honeycutt, who pitched 21 big league seasons from 1977-97, is the third-longest tenured pitching coach in Los Angeles history, behind only Ron Perranoski (1981-1994) and Red Adams (1969-1980).
Ward, 50, joins the Dodgers following eight seasons in the Arizona organization, including three years on the D-backs’ Major League staff as hitting coach (2014-15) and assistant hitting coach (2013). Under Ward’s tutelage, last season, Arizona produced two Silver Sluggers (first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and center fielder A.J. Pollock) and led the NL in hits (1,494).
Lombard, who spent part of the 2008 season in the Dodger organization as a non-roster invitee and at Triple-A, returns to the club as first base coach following six seasons coaching in Boston’s minor league system. For the last three seasons, Lombard was Boston’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator).
Woodward, 39, joins the Dodgers following two seasons as the Mariners’ first base coach. He began his coaching career in 2013 as Seattle’s minor league infield coordinator following 12 Major League seasons with the Blue Jays (1999-2004), Mets (2005-06), Braves (2007), Mariners (2009-10) and Red Sox (2009).
Bard, 37, enters the coaching ranks as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach following three years in the club’s front office as a special assistant (2013) and professional scout (2014-15). The former backstop played in 10 Major League seasons with the Indians (2002-05), Red Sox (2006), Padres (2006-08), Nationals (2009) and Mariners (2010-11) before finishing his career with the Dodger organization in 2012 as a non-roster invitee and at Triple-A.
Hyers, 44, takes over as Los Angeles’ assistant hitting coach after three years as the Red Sox’s minor league hitting coordinator. This appointment will mark Hyers’ first time on a permanent big league staff, though he served as Boston’s interim hitting coach for part of the 2014 season while Greg Colbrunn took a medical leave of absence.
Castro, who spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ minor league infield coordinator, assumes the newly-created role as the club’s quality assurance coach. The 43-year-old immediately joined the Dodgers’ front office as a special assistant following his retirement as a player on July 10, 2011, concluding a 17-year big league career with the Dodgers (1995-99, 2009, 2010, 2011), Reds (2000-04, 2006-08), Twins (2005-06), Orioles (2008) and Phillies (2010). The sure-handed infielder was originally signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of Mexico on June 18, 1991.
Yeager, 67, enters his fifth season as the Dodgers’ catching instructor and will work with the club’s Major League backstops in both Spring Training and throughout the season. Known as a stellar defensive catcher during his 15-year big league career, including 14 years with the Dodgers, Yeager was a member of the 1981 World Series championship team and was named tri-MVP of the Fall Classic along with Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero. Yeager was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1967 Amateur Draft and has worked on the club’s behalf at many community events through the years.