Dodgers announce coaching staff for 2016 season

December 17, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their Major League coaches for the 2016 season, with the most notable omission being front office favorite Gabe Kapler.

Kapler, a bright mind and one of the lead candidates for the managerial position this offseason, will remain as the farm director.  In the end, that probably is a good thing, since he might be viewed as a mole for the front office by the players, or perhaps could be rumored to become a replacement for current manager Dave Roberts at the first hint of trouble.

Pitching Coach Rick Honeycutt will be returning for an 11th season, and Steve Yeager will return for a fifth season as the club’s catching instructor, but otherwise, the coaching staff has been overhauled from last year.

Bob Geren joins the field staff as bench coach, Turner Ward replaces Mark McGwire as hitting coach, George Lombard will be first base coach, Chris Woodward will be third base coach, Josh Bard will be bullpen coach, Tim Hyers will be assistant hitting coach and Juan Castro will be the quality assurance coach.

Since Honeycutt, 61, 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).

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.

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), while ranking among the Senior Circuit’s best in runs (720, 2nd), extra-base hits (491, 2nd), batting average (.264, 3rd), on-base percentage (.324, 3rd) and slugging percentage (.414, 2nd).

Castro, 43, 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.

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.

Below is the Dodgers coaching staff for 2016:

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)

By Staff of and news services

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