Dodgers Rumors: Mark McGwire May Join Diamondbacks As Hitting Coach

Dodgers Rumors: Mark McGwire May Join Diamondbacks As Hitting Coach

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Mark McGwire, Joc Pederson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the nearly three weeks since the Los Angeles Dodgers announced a mutual parting with Don Mattingly as manager, the club is said to have conducted roughly 10 interviews as part of their comprehensive search.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi stated the team expects to trim their list of managerial candidates by the end of the week.

As the Dodgers have pushed forward with their hiring process, Davey Lopes is now the Washington Nationals first base coach under Dusty Baker, and Tim Wallach said he’ll join Mattingly in Miami as bench coach if not hired as the Dodgers manager.

Given that Wallach isn’t believed to be favorite to fill the last remaining managerial opening in the Majors, his departure may be a foregone conclusion. The Dodgers may also lose hitting coach Mark McGwire, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports:

Last season was McGwire’s third with the Dodgers, all of which have been as the club’s hitting coach. Under McGwire in 2014, the Dodgers led the Majors with a .333 team on-base percentage and .286 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Additionally in 2014, Los Angeles was among the National League leaders in batting average (.265, second), slugging percentage (.406, second), extra-base hits (474, third) and runs scored (718, second).

The Dodgers as a team hit .250/.326/.413 in 2015. Their batting average ranked 19th overall, on-base percentage was fourth, and slugging percentage 10th. They hit 187 home runs, which led the NL and was good for sixth in the Majors.

The Dodgers’ .322 wOBA last season led the NL and was fifth-best overall, and their 106 wRC+ trailed only the Toronto Blue Jays (117 wRC+) and San Francisco Giants (107 wRC+).

They weren’t particularly lucky at the plate, evident by a .292 BABIP that only ranked 23rd in the Majors. Los Angeles averaged 4.12 runs per game — good for 19th in all of baseball, but below the 4.25 league average.

Los Angeles led the Majors with a 9.2 percent walk rate and were middle of the pack in terms of strikeout rate at 20.7 percent.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were seventh overall in batting average (.264), and eight in on-base percentage (.324) and slugging percentage (.414). Their .319 wOBA and 96 wRC+ ranked ninth and 17th, respectively.

Prior to joining the Dodgers, McGwire spent three seasons as hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. McGwire’s hiring in Los Angeles coincided with the Dodgers also adding John Valentin to the organization as assistant hitting coach.

In other coaching news, the Dodgers are expected to retain Rick Honeycutt. However, team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said recently no coaches’ contracts have been finalized.