Former Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward was named to the same position with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Ward leaves the Dodgers after spending the past three seasons as their hitting coach.
“We are pleased to have Turner join our staff. He has mentored a number of successful hitters in both Arizona and Los Angeles,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “He comes highly recommended for his ability to connect with players and to help them maximize their potential.”
Ward is the second coach added to manager David Bell’s Major League staff, joining pitching coach Derek Johnson. Bell is entering his first season at the helm of the Reds.
The Dodgers increased their run production under Ward over the prior year in each of his three seasons with the club. Additionally, during his tenure they ranked first in the National League in home runs, second in walks, third in slugging percentage, fourth in on-base percentage and fifth in runs scored.
The Dodgers set a franchise record for home runs hit in 2017, then broke that mark this season. They did so behind a franchise and NL record seven players slugging at least 20 home runs.
The Dodgers’ 235 homers in 2018 paced the NL, and their 564 extra-base hits and .442 slugging percentage set Los Angeles franchise records.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Ward spent eight seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He was part of the Major League staff from 2013-15, initially joining as an assistant hitting coach before spending the last two years as hitting coach.
Ward becomes the second Dodgers coach to move on this offseason, as Chris Woodward was recently named manager of the Texas Rangers. Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi indicated last week the hope and expectation was manager Dave Roberts’ entire staff would return in 2019.
Of course, Roberts has yet to have his 2019 club option exercised or come to terms with the Dodgers on a contract extension, and Zaidi is the favorite to be hired as the new head of the San Francisco Giants front office.