While there was a lot of uncertainty and banter regarding who the Dodgers’ final coaching staff would consist of in 2020, we now have our answer.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Andrew Friedman has announced that Mark Prior will be transitioning as a replacement for Rick Honeycutt as the Dodgers’ pitching coach. Prior previously served as the bullpen coach for the team in 2019.
In addition, Friedman stated that Josh Bard will be the new bullpen coach to replace Prior.
Mark Prior will be the pitching coach, Friedman said. Josh Bard returns as the bullpen coach after two years on the Yankees staff.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 10, 2019
Bard, a former MLB catcher, was a member of the New York Yankees’ coaching staff for the last two seasons. He was with Los Angeles as their bullpen coach during the 2016 season.
On Thursday the Dodgers announced their entire coaching staff in a press release
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their Major League coaches for the 2020 season with bench coach Bob Geren (fifth season), first base coach George Lombard (fifth season), hitting strategist Brant Brown (third season), third base coach Dino Ebel (second season), hitting coach Rob Van Scoyoc (second season), assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates (second season) and newly appointed pitching coach Mark Prior (third season) all returning with Josh Bard (bullpen coach), Connor McGuinness (assistant pitching coach) and Danny Lehmann (game planning and communications coach) all joining the 2020 staff.
- Dave Roberts – Manager (fifth season)
- Bob Geren – Bench Coach (fifth season)
- Mark Prior – Pitching Coach (third season)
- Josh Bard – Bullpen Coach (first season)
- Robert Van Scoyoc – Hitting Coach (second season)
- Brant Brown –Hitting Strategist (third season)
- George Lombard – First Base Coach (fifth season)
- Dino Ebel – Third Base Coach (second season)
- Aaron Bates – Assistant Hitting Coach (second season)
- Connor McGuinness – Assistant Pitching Coach (first season)
- Danny Lehmann – Game Planning & Communications Coach (second season)
Bard, 41, returns to the Dodgers after spending the last two seasons with the New York Yankees as the Major League bench coach. The New York native began his non-playing career with the Dodgers as a special assistant to the general manager in 2013. He spent the next two seasons as a professional scout from 2014-2015 and was the Major League bullpen coach from 2016-2017. In 2017, he helped the Dodger relievers set a National League record with 637 strikeouts and led all National League bullpens in ERA (3.38), opponents’ batting average (.222) and K/9.0IP ratio (10.24). In two seasons with the Dodgers, the bullpen went 64-41 with a 3.36 ERA (430 ER/1150.1 IP) and 1270 strikeouts in 319 games. During his tenure as the Dodger bullpen coach, the relievers ranked second the Major Leagues in wins, second in saves (98), third in innings pitched, third in ERA and batting average against.
The former backstop played 10 years in the Majors with the Cleveland Indians (2002-05), Boston Red Sox (2006), San Diego Padres (2006-08), Washington Nationals (2009) and Seattle Mariners (2010-11). In 586 career Major League games, he hit .254 (452-for-1778) with 162 runs, 109 doubles, three triples, 39 homers and 220 RBI. He was originally selected by Colorado in the third round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.
McGuinness, 30, is in his fourth year with the organization and his first year with the Major League staff. He joined the Dodgers in 2017 as the pitching coach for Single-A Great Lakes and worked the last two seasons in the same capacity for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He joined the Dodgers after serving as a college pitching coach for NCAA D-III Catholic University (2016) and Emory University (2014-2015). In his tenure with the Emory Eagles, he helped lead the team to back-to-back NCAA DIII College World Series, finishing top five in 2015 and runner-up in 2014. He played four years for Emory, going 2-6 with a 6.75 ERA in 41 games for the Eagles, while earning his BA in Economics with a concentration in Finance.
Lehmann, 34, rejoins the Dodgers as the game planning and communications coach after serving in the same role in 2018. In 2019, he served as a special assistant to the club and served as an advance video scout for three seasons prior to working with the Major League staff in 2018. The former eighth round pick in the 2007 First Year Player Draft out of Rice University by the Minnesota Twins played in 365 minor league games and batted .229 with 47 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 85 RBI.
Dave Roberts will head into the season as the Dodgers’ manager to the dismay of many fans who question his postseason decision-making. This is the right move regardless, as the team continues to perform at a high-level and because of the fact that Los Angeles has never failed to win the division under his managerial reign.
Bob Geren, despite his name being thrown around as a potential managerial candidate for numerous teams, will be returning in the same role. Roberts and Geren have worked well together in previous seasons.
Robert Van Scoyoc will also be returning as the team’s hitting coach. Van Scoyoc proved to be an excellent addition in 2019 after previously serving as a consultant. He has brought a new brand of hitting to the team as an analytically-inclined professional, and their offensive firepower in 2019 demonstrated his expertise.
Los Angeles will not be experiencing a lot of turnover with its coaching staff from 2019 to 2020, which is always a good way to stabilize a clubhouse.