The Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 coaching staff under manager Dave Roberts was finalized, cementing the promotion of Mark Prior to pitching coach as Rick Honeycutt transitions to a front office role, and the return of Josh Bard as bullpen coach.
It’s a role Bard held for the Dodgers from 2016-17. He then joined the New York Yankees coaching staff, serving as the bench coach to manager Aaron Boone for two seasons. Bard began his post-playing career with the Dodgers in 2013 as a special assistant to then-general manager Ned Colletti.
In 2017, Bard helped Dodgers relief pitchers set a National League record with 637 strikeouts and lead the league’s bullpens with a 3.38 ERA, .222 opponents’ batting average and 10.24 strikeouts per nine innings.
In Bard’s two seasons with the Dodgers, the bullpen went 64-41 with a 3.36 ERA and 1270 strikeouts over 319 games. Also during his tenure as bullpen coach, the relievers ranked second in the Majors in wins, second in saves (98), third in innings pitched (1,150.1), ERA and batting average against.
When Bard departed, Prior joined the Dodgers as bullpen coach prior to the 2018 season. Before that he was with the San Diego Padres for four years, initially as an assistant in their baseball operations department, then three seasons as the organization’s pitching coordinator.
Although Prior has established familiarity with the Dodgers and their pitching staff, it nonetheless represents a significant change. Even as the organization went through managerial changes, Rick Honeycutt held the role of pitching coach for the past 14 seasons.
He oversaw a staff that often led the Majors in ERA and other categories, and is credited for assisting pitchers in revitalizing their career or reaching new levels of success. Honeycutt expressed confidence in Prior’s ability to succeed him, touting his preparation and ability to communicate with pitchers. Honeycutt anticipates spending time with Minor League affiliates to assist with hands-on development at those levels.
Roberts’ staff additionally features bench coach Bob Geren (entering fifth season), first base coach George Lombard (fifth season), third base coach Dino Ebel (second season), hitting coach Rob Van Scoyoc (second season), hitting coach Brant Brown (third season), assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates (second season), Connor McGuiness (assistant pitching coach; first season) and Danny Lehmann (game planning and communications coach; second season).
Geren and Lombard were the subject of managerial interest during the early stages of offseason and are valued Dodgers coaches. Lehmann returns as game planning and communications coach, which was a role filled by Chris Gimenez this past season.
Gimenez has moved shift into a Minor League roving role and will occasionally join the Dodgers. Lehmann was the game planning and communications coach in 2018 and this year served as a special assistant to the club and as an advance video scout for three seasons prior to working with the Major League staff in 2018.
Although McGuiness, is new to the Dodgers staff, next season marks his fourth year with the organization. He joined the Dodgers in 2017 as the pitching coach for Low-A Great Lakes and worked the last two seasons in the same capacity for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Brown saw a slight change in his title as he now is designated a hitting coach rather than hitting strategist.
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