Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning the process of reconfiguring their front office or entering free agency, there were questions surrounding the coaching staff — primarily centered on manager Don Mattingly.
Mattingly’s failure to help guide the Dodgers to the World Series had some believing he was on the hot seat. However, in his introductory press conference as president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman dispelled the notion of Mattingly potentially being in trouble as he proclaimed the manager would return in 2015.
Joe Maddon’s sudden departure from the Tampa Bay Rays momentarily fueled more speculation Mattingly would be on the outs, but Friedman again said he would return. On Friday, Friedman announced Mattingly and the remaining Dodgers coaching staff would return in 2015.
The group of eight consists of third base coach Lorenzo Bundy, bullpen coach Chuck Crim, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, assistant pitching coach Ken Howell, first base coach Davey Lopes, hitting coach Mark McGwire, assistant hitting coach John Valentin and bench coach Tim Wallach.
Bundy told a Mexican publication in late-October he spoke with Friedman over the phone and accepted a position to return. Next season will mark Crim’s ninth with the organization and third as bullpen coach.
Among the coaches, Honeycutt has been with the Dodgers the longest with 2015 marking his 10th year as the team’s pitching coach; 2015 will be Honeycutt’s 15th season with the Dodgers. Howell, McGwire and Valentin all will enter their third season with the Dodgers in their respective positions.
Lopes returns for a fifth season with the Dodgers with all of them coming at first base. Wallach returns for a second season as bench coach after serving as third base coach. There was some thought Wallach would be on the list of candidates the Rays would consider for their now-vacant manager position, but he was not part of the announced group.