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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dodgers Announce Coaching Staff, Holes in Lineup Still Remain

Yesterday the Dodgers announced Don Mattingly's official coaching staff for the 2011 season:

Dave Hansen - Hitting Instructor (first season)
Trey Hillman - Bench Coach (first season)
Rick Honeycutt - Pitching Coach (sixth season)
Ken Howell - Bullpen Coach (fourth season)
Davey Lopes - First Base Coach (first season)
Manny Mota - Coach (32nd season)
Jeff Pentland - Hitting Coach (fourth season)
Tim Wallach - Third Base Coach (first season)
Rob Flippo - Bullpen Catcher (10th season)
Mike Borzello - Bullpen Catcher (fourth season)

Hillman was the former manager of the Kansas City Royals, and was managing in Japan before his 2008-2010 tenure for the Royals. He will be replacing the useless Bob Schaefer.

Rick Honeycutt will return for his 6th season as the Dodgers pitching coach. He is the longest tenured coach now. During the time he has coached for the Dodgers, our pitchers have had the best ERA in baseball.

Ken Howell will return for his 4th season as bullpen coach. Let's hope he can squelch anymore meltdowns.

Davey Lopes once again will wear Dodger blue when he returns to Chavez Ravine as first base coach replacing Mariano Duncan. He was a Dodger from 1972-1982 and was part of the dynamic infield that consisted of Steve Garvey, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey. He can be valuable as a base running instructor as well. He has the second most stolen bases in Dodger history behind Maury Wills. We welcome him back!

Jeff Pentland has worked under Don Mattingly as a hitting instructor, but now has been promoted to hitting coach.

Tim Wallach has been managing Albuquerque the past two seasons, and has been very impressive. He will be the third base coach. I'm glad he will be staying in the Dodgers organization. If Mattingly faulters, I hope that they will give Wallach the chance to manage someday. Let's hope he doesn't leave eventually and it turn into another Mike Scioscia situation. He will be replacing the useless Larry Bowa.

Manny Mota has been in the Dodgers organization for 42 years, 32 of them as a coach.

Dave Hansen, a former Dodger, will be a hitting instructor. He will add valuable pinch-hitting instruction.

Flippo and Borzello will remain as bullpen catchers.

Overall, I feel this is a very strong coaching staff. The addition of some younger personnel like Dave Hansen enables them to freshen up some of the aging and useless coaches of past seasons. They now may be more able to communicate easier with the younger players like Matt Kemp. 

Now that the coaching staff is cemented in place, and we have 4 solid starting pitchers set with Kershaw, Billingsley, Lilly, and Kuroda we really need to look at filling up some of these black holes we have in the lineup. 

The Dodgers are not going to go for Adam Dunn, so they desperately need a power bat at either left field or third base. Colletti mentioned that he probably will go with Gibbons, Xavier Paul and Jamie Hoffman in left field. That's fine, but we can't have the rusted anchors of Casey Blake and Ryan Theriot weighing down the rest of the lineup. For the love of god, please sign Beltre! They are also still debating on what to do with Martin. They have until Dec. 2 to work something out, or he will become a free agent. I have a feeling we will be saying goodbye to Martin and dealing with Ellis/Barajas platoon behind the plate. I have no idea what they are going to do about second base, but anyone is better than Theriot. I just assume starting Jamey Carroll at 2nd. 

Stay tuned for more offseason news and more Blue Bios to come! Happy Thanksgiving everyone:)

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