The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the 2016 coaching staff, which features eight new faces including rookie manager Dave Roberts.
As expected, Bob Geren takes over as bench coach, Rick Honeycutt remains pitching coach, Turner Ward is hitting coach and Chris Woodward will coach third base.
Additionally, Tim Hyers will serve as assistant hitting coach, Josh Bard as bullpen coach, Steve Yeager returns to work with catchers, and Juan Castro joins the organization as quality assurance coach.
One mild surprise comes with George Lombard being named first base coach. It was a position originally expected to be filled by Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler.
Geren was the New York Mets bench coach for the past four seasons. He previously managed the Oakland Athletics for four and a half seasons.
Geren was fired by Oakland 63 games into the 2011 season, with the club a disappointing 27-36 at the time. Honeycutt has served as the Dodgers’ pitching coach for the last 10 seasons; previously coaching under Grady Little, Joe Torre and Mattingly.
The Dodgers pitching staff last season ranked fifth overall with a 3.46 ERA and third with a 1.18 WHIP. The Dodgers’ 23.5 strikeout percentage was good for third-best in the Majors.
Ward spent eight seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He was on the Major League staff the last three seasons, including 2014 and 2015 as hitting coach.
Last season Arizona ranked second in the National League in runs scored, second in slugging percentage and third in on-base percentage and OPS. Ward replaces Mark McGwire, who is now the San Diego Padres bench coach.
Lombard, 40, was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Braves in the 1994. After being released by the Cleveland Indians in 2009, he spent 2010 as the hitting coach for the Lowell Spinners, the Short-Season A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
Lombard then served as manager of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox from 2011–2012. In 2012 he was promoted by the Red Sox to roving outfield and base running coordinator throughout the team’s Minor League system before being hired by the Braves in September 2015 to fill the same role.
Woodward was the Seattle Mariners first base coach and infield instructor the past two years under former manager Lloyd McClendon.
After playing 12 seasons in the Majors, Woodward retired in 2012. He was hired by the Mariners, a club he spent parts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons playing for, as their Minor League infield coordinator in 2013.
He received a promotion to the Mariners’ Major League staff in the latter stages of that season, where he remained through this year.
Bard served as a special assistant to then-general manager Ned Colletti in 2013, but worked as a scout for the Dodgers over the last two years.
Hyers spent the past three seasons as the Red Sox’s Minor League hitting coordinator. His position with the Dodgers marks the first time Hyers has been a permanent fixture on a Major League staff.
His previous experience includes working as Boston’s interim hitting coach for part of the 2014 season. Castro gets takes over a newly-created role after spending the past two seasons as the Dodgers’ Minor League infield coordinator.
Yeager will continue his work with Dodgers catchers during Spring Training and throughout the season.