LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their Major League coaching staff for the 2011 campaign under new manager Don Mattingly. The staff consists of four coaches that will be entering their first season on the Dodgers’ big league staff, including two former Major League managers and four coaches that have served a combined 42 years with the Dodgers on the Major League coaching level. The staff has logged 176 combined seasons playing, coaching or managing in the Major Leagues.
“I’m extremely excited about this coaching staff, which has a great combination of experience and youth that will create a positive environment for our team,” said Mattingly. “We’ve been able to reach back and bring in a number of coaches with Dodger roots and that’s one of the things that was very important to us. Not just the quality of the people and the experience they bring with them, but the history of this organization – where it came from and where we want to go.”
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, 47, will begin his first season as the Dodgers’ bench coach after managing the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2010 (152-207). Prior to being named the 15th skipper in Royals’ history, Hillman piloted the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003-07 in the Japanese Pacific League. While in Japan, Hillman led the Fighters to the Japan series title in 2006, the club’s first championship since 1962. The Texas native compiled a .520 winning percentage and reached the playoffs in three of five seasons with Hokkaido Nippon while being named the Japan’s “Sportsman of the Year” by the Foreign Sportswriters of Japan in 2006. Hillman was the Rangers’ Director of Player Development in 2002 and was a skipper in the New York Yankees’ organization for 12 seasons from 1990-2001. While with the Yankees, Hillman compiled a record of 855-761 (.529), leading his teams to eight winning seasons and four postseason appearances. The former minor league shortstop won the Florida State League (A) Manager of the Year in 1996 and the International League (AAA) Manager of the Year in 1999.
Honeycutt, 56, will enter his sixth consecutive season as the Dodgers’ pitching coach, making him the longest tenured full-time coach on the Dodgers’ staff. Since Honeycutt became the pitching coach in 2006, his staff has posted a 3.90 ERA, which is the best in baseball over that time. In 2009, the Dodgers led the Major Leagues with a 3.41 ERA and a .233 opponents’ batting average while tying for second with 1,272 strikeouts.
Howell, 49, enters his fourth season as the bullpen coach for Los Angeles and since he took over in 2008, the club’s relievers own a Major League-best 3.49 ERA. In his three seasons, the bullpen ranks first in the National League with 90 wins and a .237 opponents’ batting average while ranking third with 1,432 strikeouts. In 2009, the Dodger bullpen led the Majors with a 3.12 ERA. Howell pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with Los Angeles and posted a 3.95 career ERA.
Lopes, 65, played in Los Angeles from 1972-82, becoming part of the longest-tenured infield in Major League history along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey from 1973-81. With the Dodgers, he led the NL in stolen bases two times (1976-77), won a Gold Glove (’78) and played in four consecutive All-Star games (1978-81). Lopes’ 413 stolen bases are the second most in Dodger history behind Maury Wills and in 1978 he had a stretch of 35 bases without getting caught, which was then a Major League record. After his retirement in 1987, Lopes was the first base coach in Texas (1988-91), Baltimore (1992-94) and San Diego (1995-99) before getting hired to manage the Brewers from 2000-2002 (144-195). Lopes returned to San Diego from 2003-05 as their first base coach and filled the same role for Washington (2006) and Philadelphia (2007-10). While in Philadelphia, the Phillies made the playoffs in each of Lopes’ four seasons as he served as the baserunning and outfield instructor. From 2007-10, Lopes coached the Phillies to a Major League-best 84.3 cumulative stolen base percentage (501 SB/93 CS) with the club leading the Majors in that category in each of his four seasons, including a big league single-season record of 87.9% (138 SB/19 CS) in 2007. Philadelphia’s outfielders led the Majors with 136 outfield assists during Lopes’ time with the club.
Pentland, 63, has served as the Dodgers’ hitting instructor under Mattingly since July 1, 2008. This year he will be the full-time hitting coach in his 14th season as a coach on the Major League level. Since Pentland has come aboard, the Dodgers are hitting .263, which is tied for second in the National League over that time. He has previously served as the hitting coach for the Cubs (1997-2002), Royals (2002-05) and Mariners (2005-08) following a career in scouting, player development and coaching at the collegiate level.
Wallach, 53, spent the last two seasons managing the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. While in Albuquerque, Wallach compiled a record of 152-135 (.530) and set an Albuquerque franchise record with 80 victories in 2009. He was named the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as well as Baseball America’s “Best Manager Prospect.” The five-time NL All-Star spent 17 seasons in the Majors as a player, including four with the Dodgers (1993-96). In 2004-05 he was the Dodgers’ Major League hitting coach and prior to that he coached and managed the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate at San Bernardino (1997-98), coached at his alma mater Cal State Fullerton (2000) and managed Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in the Angels’ organization (2001). Wallach’s three sons have followed in his footsteps as Matt catches in the Dodger organization, Brett pitches in the Chicago Cubs’ system and Chad is a freshman infielder/pitcher on the Cal State Fullerton baseball team.
Mota will enter his 32nd season as a coach with the Dodgers and 42nd year overall in the organization. He donned a Dodger uniform as a player in parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982 and finished his career as the all-time leading pinch-hitter in Major League history. His tenure as a coach is the longest in Los Angeles Dodger history, as he has served as the club’s bench coach and hitting coach at various times during his career.
Hansen, 41, played 11 seasons with the Dodgers (1990-96, 1999-2002) during his 15-year Major League career and ranks sixth all-time with 139 career pinch-hits, including Dodger team records for most pinch-hits in a season (18 in 1993), pinch-hits in a career (110) and pinch-hit homers in a season (7 in 2000). Hansen joins the Dodger organization after four years in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system and the last three as their minor league hitting coordinator. He retired as player following the 2005 season and began his coaching career in 2007 as the hitting coach with Arizona’s Double-A affiliate, Mobile, where his hitters led the Southern League with a .271 batting average.
Flippo, 44, and Borzello, 40, will return as the bullpen catchers for their 10th and fourth seasons, respectively.