The Dodgers have reportedly hired former Major League pitcher Mark Prior to serve as their bullpen coach. The role was previously held by Josh Bard, who recently joined Aaron Boone’s staff in New York. Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports was the first to report Prior’s hiring.
Prior is a former top prospect in the Cubs organization, but injuries derailed his promising career after just 5 big league seasons. Prior attempted multiple comebacks, but after his final attempt in 2013 failed he went into coaching. Since then, he has worked as a minor league pitching coach in the Padres organization. As noted by Brown, Prior was well regarded while working for the Padres. He also noted that Prior could eventually be the successor to Rick Honeycutt.
Honeycutt has been the Dodgers pitching coach since 2006 and has helped the development of countless successful pitchers. Honeycutt has also been instrumental in reviving careers of guys such as Brandon Morrow, Tony Cingani, and countless others. At 63-years old, it’s possible that Honeycutt is nearing the end of his coaching career. Bringing Prior to the organization now will give him an opportunity to develop relationships with the players he would work with before succeeding Honeycutt.
Prior is just 37 years old, and only 4 years removed from pitching in the minor leagues. He could be exactly what the Dodgers need when Honeycutt does decide to hang it up. In any case, he should do well in his role as bullpen coach in the upcoming season. He’s going to have his work cut out for him though, with the Dodgers most consistent middle reliever in Brandon Morrow gone.
What do you think of the hire? Let us know in the comments!
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