The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized coaching staffs of their Minor League affiliates for the 2018 season, which brought about a mixture of returning coaches and new faces. Triple-A Oklahoma City has some of both, but not at the top as Bill Haselman returns as manager.
Haselman is entering his fifth season with the organization and third consecutive season as Oklahoma City manager. Joining him is coach Luis Matos, while the Oklahoma City staff added Bill Simas as pitching coach and Adam Melhuse as hitting coach.
In his first two seasons as a Triple-A manager, Haselman has guided OKC to a combined 153-129 regular-season record and has finished in the top two in the American Northern Division each season.
The 153 victories are the most by an Oklahoma City manager in his first two seasons with the team since Grady Hatton in 1963-64. Haselman led OKC to an American Northern Division title and appearance in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series in his first season.
Last year, the Dodgers went 72-69 and finished in second place in the division. Haselman has led his team to its league championship series in three of his last five seasons as a Minor League manager.
Simas joins Oklahoma City after spending the past two seasons as pitching coach for Double-A Tulsa. Overall, 2018 is his eighth season with the Dodgers organization. Under Simas’ tutelage, the Drillers pitching staff ranked in the top three in the Texas League last season in ERA, WHIP, opponents’ batting average and home runs allowed.
Simas previously coached with Rookie-level Ogden (2011-12), Low-A Great Lakes (2013-14) and High-A Rancho Cucamonga (2015). Simas was the pitching coach under Haselman when the Quakes won the California League Championship in 2015.
He played 16 seasons, including for the Chicago White Sox from 1995-2000. Simas time in the Minors included a stop with the Dodgers organization in 2003, when he primarily played for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Simas replaces Matt Herges, who left his post as OKC pitching coach to become bullpen coach with the San Francisco Giants.
Along with Melhuse joining the Oklahoma City staff for his first year, he’s also a newcomer to the Dodgers organization. He spent the past two seasons as manager of the Low-A Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim affiliate).
Prior to managing, Melhuse was an advance scout for the Chicago Cubs for four seasons. He made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2000 and spent parts of eight seasons in the Majors.
Melhuse figures to be aided throughout the season by Dodgers assistant hitting coaches Brant Brown and Luis Ortiz, who are also slated to share duties as Minor League hitting coordinators.
Former Oklahoma City hitting coach Shawn Wooten was let go by the organization last November. He held the position for the past two seasons, and before that was hitting coach for the Drillers from 2014-2015.
Matos will continue to serve as the Oklahoma City’s primary third base coach and outfield coach. He began his coaching tenure with the organization in 2015 as manager of the Loons. Matos also serves as a hitting coach in the Puerto Rican Winter League during the offseason.