The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced the hiring of former Chicago Cubs ace Mark Prior as bullpen coach. He replaces Josh Bard, who left the organization to become bench coach with the New York Yankees.
Bard first joined the Dodgers in 2013 as a special assistant to then-general manager Ned Colletti. He worked in the professional scouting department in 2014 and 2015, and spent the past two seasons on manager Dave Roberts’ staff as bullpen coach.
As for Prior, he spent the past four seasons in the San Diego Padres organization. He was an assistant in their baseball operations department, then spent the last three years as the organization’s pitching coordinator.
Prior retired in 2013 after a season that ultimately was marred by injuries and failed comeback attempts with multiple teams.
Prior, a product out of USC, was selected second overall in the 2001 Draft. After making his mLB debut in 2012, he broke out the following year. Prior went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA, earning a selection to the All-Star Game and finishing third in National League Cy Young Award voting.
The 37-year-old finished a lifetime 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA over parts of five seasons with the Cubs. Prior last pitched in 2006 and missed each of the next three seasons (2007-09) due to injuries.
Prior joins Brant Brown and Luis Ortiz, who will split time in dual roles of assistant Major League hitting coach and Minor League hitting coordinator, as newcomers to Roberts’ staff this offseason.
Danny Lehmann, who previously served as an advance video scout, was also promoted to communications coach, while the rest of the positions on the staff remain the same as last season.