There’s been plenty of turnover for a roster that won 94 games last season and second consecutive NL West title, but there will be continuity among the coaching staff in 2015.
As Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in early November last year, the team confirmed Thursday the entire Major-League coaching staff would remain intact next season. After the 2014 season concluded, there was rampant speculation manager Don Mattingly was in danger of losing his job, which was further fueled when Joe Maddon re-signed from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Friedman voiced his support for Mattingly on multiple occasions and the notion that a new manager would take over at Chavez Ravine largely died when Maddon agreed to become manager of the Chicago Cubs. With a 354-293 record as Dodger manager, Mattingly enters his fifth season at the helm.
Returning with Mattingly are Lorenzo Bundy (third Base coach, second season); Chuck Crim (bullpen coach, third season); Rick Honeycutt (pitching coach, 10th season); Davey Lopes (first base coach, fifth season); Mark McGwire (hitting coach, third season); Tim Wallach (bench coach, second season — fifth on staff); Ken Howell (assistant pitching coach, third season — eighth on staff); John Valentin (assistant hitting coach, third season); Steve Yeager (catching instructor, fourth season); Rob Flippo (bullpen catcher, 14th season); Steve Cilladi (bullpen catcher, second season).
While the roles of Bundy, Honeycutt, and Lopes are well-known, Yeager’s impact may be among the most important next season. The former catcher will continue to work with A.J. Ellis and now takes Yasmani Grandal under his tutelage.
Grandal was a major piece in the Matt Kemp trade with the San Diego Padres and the Dodgers front office has spoken highly of the 26 year old in light of some injury concern regarding his ACL surgery in 2013 and 2012 suspension after testing positive for testosterone.
Along with announcing the return of the coaching staff, the Dodgers also named Naomi Rodriguez as senior director of external affairs and community relations. Rodriguez joins the Dodgers after working as the senior director of public affairs, marketing and communications for Los Angeles Universal Preschool.