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Dodgers News: Turner Ward Named Cincinnati Reds Hitting Coach

The Cincinnati Reds announced on Tuesday that Turner Ward will serve as their new hitting coach. Ward has served that role for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2016. With this news – Ward joins the staff of new Reds manager David Bell.

This news creates the second coaching-vacancy within a week for the Dodgers. Over the weekend, third base coach Chris Woodward took the managerial job with the Texas Rangers.

The Dodgers set a franchise record for team home runs in 2017 under Ward – only to come back and break that record in 2018 with 235 team home runs.

Prior to joining Los Angeles in 2016 – Ward spent eight seasons as part of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization – the last two of which he served as the Arizona hitting coach.

Analysis

Many fans on social media retreated during valley periods for the offense to ‘fire Turner Ward’. Now, these same fans will see how the Los Angeles offense performs underneath a new hitting coach in 2019. The Dodgers are feeling some of the ramifications of going to back-to-back World Series appearances. When this happens, the staff and those surrounding an organization are going to be in high demand. It is who the Dodgers fill these key roles with that will be a key in them returning to a third straight World Series appearance. That much goes without saying.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

12 Comments

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  1. That’s too bad. Such a likable guy. He forged great connections w/ his players and w/ huge results. Yasiel will miss him the most!

  2. I agree with Pete…Puig will miss him the most. IMO, there are plenty of capable hitting coaches out there, maybe even some who insist on playing all aspects of offense well (what a novel idea). Bunting when the defense plays the shift. Make the defense pay dearly when they employ the shift. Run and hit more frequently. When did hitting for base hits become obsolete? Small ball is as important as the long ball. Cut down on strikeouts when everyone is swinging for the fence way to often. I think the Dodgers can survive losing Ward.

  3. How the hell do the Dodgers lose Ward? Unless he absolutely wanted to leave them, you don’t lose this guy. He taught our entire team how to work a pitching count, become a great home run team, unlike when they had steroid spoke’s model Mark McGuire who had the swing first approach. It was pathetic.

    Maybe the Dodgers felt they need a hitting coach that will resemble Boston’s style of working counts and hitting the B-ball “where they ain’t”, instead of constantly going yard. Now that would be great, but if we give up on working over pitching counts I believe it will be a step back to boring assed ball of the McGuire days.

      • Clint, let me give my 2 cents here for what it’s worth. Sure, Ward and Bell are close and Ward wants to be closer to home and I get that. However…here is what is also in play , and that is the Dodgers over analytic lineup and and platoon philosophy with these lefty-righty match ups on a daily basis. Those hitters he has worked with sometimes don’t start often the next day after a good offensive game because of the opposing pitcher being LH or RH. He saw that with this constant platoon philosophy that players had a hard time with being consistent at all. For this reason along with some others was why we saw ineptness with RISP basically all year long. Situational hitting also was lacking in the WS along with striking out with regularity due from this all or nothing swing for the fences approach all year long. I am not saying to abandon the power and HR’s completely, because Dodgers must keep up with their own pitching staff that also serves up a ton of HR’s themselves. Too many close games were lost early in the year as per Zaidi due to Dodgers being out homered by the opponents. But there will be games during the year and throughout the PS and WS were you MUST be able to manufacture runs without the HR because the team is facing elite pitching in October and ya must take what they give ya sometimes instead of swinging from the heels like we saw throughout 2018.

      • Paul, I thought your long comment above was a really good one. It would be interesting to learn if the platoon stuff which was placed upon Ward played any type of a factor in his decision.

  4. Shocked is the only way to describe how I feel! What other changes are the Dodgers going to make, or allow? I sure would like to know what was behind this loss. I could understand if Ward was offered a manager position with a different club, but to lose him for a lateral position is just unbelievable!

  5. Good. The Dodgers approach was terrible in the Playoffs and especially the World Series. They have no concept of situational hitting and were far too content to strike out if they didn’t hit a Homerun.

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