Dodgers Reportedly Hire Robert Van Scoyoc as Hitting Coach

Some eyebrows were raised when news broke that the Dodgers were contemplating hiring 32-year-old Robert Van Scoyoc as their new hitting coach. Perhaps those eyebrows are still raised and locked into position waiting to see how things play out.

 

One argument expressing doubt is that he has never played major league baseball so perhaps lacks the understanding of hitting at that level. I’m not sure that makes much difference if an individual understands the physics of hitting, the rudiments of bat to ball and something about the human physique and psyche. Also, communicating skills are another key to any instruction and Van Scoyoc seems to have a strong set of people skills.

 

A couple of coaches, very successful coaches, come to mind who never played the game at its highest level but excelled in leading others to championship levels. Legendary hockey coach, Scotty Bowman, played only minor league hockey but became a Hall of Fame coach in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings. New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, has become somewhat of a living legend. He played some college ball before having his career ended with a broken leg. Walter Alston, the Dodgers manager from 1954-76, had one MLB at bat yet led the Dodgers to four World Series championships.

 

This may all be apples and oranges, but it would be my contention that it is worth a try. What is there to be lost? The Dodgers have gone 31 years without a World Series championship. Last year they led the National League in home runs and in strikeouts.  They led the World Series in pop ups, or at least it seems they did. So, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

Van Scoyoc will be one of the youngest coaches working at the MLB level, perhaps a job he once considered a most unlikely pipe dream. The Dodgers, at least at the minor league level, have hired more and more coaches in their late twenties or early thirties. The youngest last year was 21-year-old pitcher Jairo Pacheco who served as a coach with the Arizona League Dodgers. One goal for the Dodgers is to have a younger roster so why not a younger coaching staff? It seems likely that youth can relate to youth and understand the struggles hitters go through just as those who have gone through it as MLB hitters can.

 

I am not a big proponent of some of the changes, and possible future changes coming down the road, in MLB over the years. However, once again, what do we have to lose with trying something different? We have continued down the free agent road with reckless abandon and came up with no WS rings in 31 years. Why not try something different with bat to ball skill development? “Barreling” seems to be the new catch phrase. Why not try to do that better with someone who understands the dynamics of hitting and not just the techniques of hitting?

 

For several years Robert Van Scoyoc has worked with his partner Craig Wallenbrock in a make shift gymnasium in Santa Clarita, a suburb of Los Angeles. Complete with video equipment and batting cages, the two work with amateur and professional hitters alike.

 

The two names most consistently linked to them are J.D. Martinez and the Dodgers own Chris Taylor. Dodger fans are familiar with Taylor’s story and wonder if he needs a refresher with Van Scoyoc or has simply regressed since his big year in 2017.

 

Martinez is more so the poster boy for Van Scoyoc and Wallenbrock. When he visited their facility five years ago he was on a downhill spiral expecting to be released and out of the game at the MLB level.

 

“I’m on the way out (of baseball),” Wallenbrock remembers Martinez telling him. “I need to make some changes. I’m all in. Whatever you guys want to do with me, I’m ready to go. I’ll do it.”

 

“It was pretty terrible, to be honest,” Van Scoyoc said.

 

“We probably made more drastic changes with him,” Wallenbrock said, “than we did with anybody.”

 

As with all instruction and guidance, there is a two-way street. Martinez proved to be a hungry and responsive student finding his own positioning of his hands to do as he was otherwise instructed.

“He would literally come and stay until we had an amateur guy come in around 3:30 in the afternoon,” Van Scoyoc said. “And we’d have to kick him out.”

 

Wallenbrock and Van Scoyoc might be thought to be the fathers of launch angle. There seems to be no evidence of that since launch angle started when the ball hit the bat for the first time well over a century ago. However, the nomenclature has only recently hit the airwaves and some players are making a concerted effort to change the angle to fit their strengths. The tandem’s approach is not specific to launch angle although that plays a part in it.

 

“Wallenbrock and Van Scoyoc teach a hitting philosophy that can often run counter to long-held beliefs in the game. They do not believe in swinging down at the ball. They emphasize hitting the ball in the air. They believe fastballs should be hit to the opposite field and breaking balls to the pull side.

 

It can sometimes involve drastic mechanical changes, including adding leg kicks or changing the way hitters’ hands “load” before the swing begins.

 

They want hitters to get their bat “on plane” in the hitting zone for as long as possible, creating swings that are capable of handling a variety of pitches. But they also believe every hitter is unique – some are taller, some have shorter arms, some have better vision than others – and the coaches say they believe in discovering the most effective swing, not producing cookie-cutter actions for everyone.”

 

Van Scoyoc is a native of Los Angeles and actually spent two years as a hitting consultant for the Dodgers before the Arizona Diamondbacks lured him away before the beginning of the 2018 season to be their hitting strategist. Not coach, but strategist.

 

With the Diamondbacks he formulated detailed game plans for the position players, much like what a pitching coach does for the team’s pitchers, providing individualized, data-centric strategies on how to attack opposing pitchers.

 

He also visited all of the club’s minor-league affiliates working with the organizations hitting coaches and assisted in the amateur draft and player acquisitions.

 

His hiring by the Dodgers seems to be in keeping with their numbers-oriented and analytical approach to the game. As already asked, what is there to lose?

 

This article has 67 Comments

  1. I would never trust a guy with a smile like that. What is he hiding? 😉

    Actually, I find it incredibly amazing and positively refreshing that a man breathing down 90 years of age is so progressive in his thinking!

    I would think that Andrew Friedman has done his due diligence on his and that his “braintrust” of baseball people in the front office are behind it as well. However, this is radical… very radical. I was excited to get Turner Ward, but after his second year, I saw very little growth from players. I felt like his tenure was finished even before he left.

    Van Scoyoc was hired away from the Dodgers, and the Dodgers hired him back in a very large capacity. Hitting coaches come and go all the time, many times even during the season. This is a bold move by a forward-thinking executive who seems to be near the cutting-edge of every baseball innovation. Most oldtimers don’t like change, but DC seems to embrance it. Like he says: “What do that have to lose?”

    However, the players have to embrace it. I am a big fan of Seth Godin and today in his blog he wrote something that is appropraite to this:

    90% of coaching is self-coaching.

    A cherry can’t grow without the pit. The drupe works because it uses the pit as instigation, a foundation to go forward from.
    The same is true for the way most of us engage with a coach. That basketball coach screaming from the sidelines? There’s no way the player can hear what he’s saying. That’s okay. The shift is happening inside.

    And the coaching that happens with a good boss or inside a program like the altMBA? The theory is the same. Your preparation for an upcoming meeting, the voice in your head as you think about your choices, the knowledge that you’re accountable for your actions–all of these end up weaving into the future version of you.

    It’s entirely possible to coach yourself. To develop internal habits and standards that help you ratchet forward, drip by drip. But when you find yourself alone in a “co” working space, or isolated from good leadership, or wondering about what’s next, it might just be a signal that you’re missing the 10% from the core, the seed that you can build on and then internalize.

    Sooner or later, all motivation is self motivation. And the challenge and opportunity is in finding the external forces that will soon become internal ones.

  2. Van Scoyoc is strong on that point. J.D. Martinez was/is self motivated, as was/is Justin Turner. Martinez himself knew he had to change the positioning of his hands which he incorporated with the other instruction. He found the right position for him.
    .
    With launch angle the hitter can’t simply buy into that and go into uppercut mode. He has to make the other mechanical adjustments that support the tilt upwards and keep the bat in the zone for a microsecond longer. Using launch angle as the guide the hitter doesn’t abandon all of the other mechanical techniques that he has that are comfortable for him. Having said that, some need a complete overhaul. See J.D. Martinez.

  3. It is entirely possible that Freidman told Ward that he wanted to move in another direction and Ward then grabbed the Reds opportunity. Hiring Van Scoyoc was probably not a reactive move to Ward leaving.
    .
    Freidman came to the Dodgers at age 32 and proceeded to hire a bunch of 32 year old executives. He seems to like 32 year olds.

  4. I don’t care that the Yanks would never make this trade. It is still one I would love to see made. Muncy, Lux, Hill for Gleyber Torres. If I am going to dream, make that Muncy, Lux, and Wood.

    1. One of my favorites. Interestingly enough he got drafted out of West Texas A&M a Division II school after two years at Houston a Division I school.

    2. Mark,

      If you like these kinds of stories, you might want to read about the Pittsburgh Steelers current RB Connor, who has taken over from disappeared Lavion Bell. Connor is a cancer survivor. His story is amazing and he is one of the best RB’s I’ve seen this year. Self-motivation is the #1 factor in improving and achieving one’s goals, for sure.

      I have no problem with the new hitting coach. I only wish they would get rid of Honeycutt and really move into the new age baseball. By all accounts, we’d have to say that Friedman has been hugely successful as a Dodger even with all his questionable decisions.

  5. Drew Saylor named BA Minor League Manager of the Year.

    No long-term deal for Roberts.

    Could it be possible Drew will take over in LA in 2020?

    Matt Kemp – Comeback Player of the Year. Congrats. I think I called that last Spring!

    1. Baseball America is reporting that Saylor and the Dodgers parted ways after the season. Anyone have any updates?

      1. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/minor-league-manager-of-the-year-drew-saylor/
        .
        This article confirms with an editor’s note that Saylor and the Dodgers parted ways. No reason why of course. He is still listed on the Quakes roster but there have been no changes on it since the season ended. He is from Barberton, OH so perhaps work closer to home. Also the possibility of a college coaching position that pays better than minor league ball. Parted ways makes it seem as if they didn’t part on amicable terms. That doesn’t sound like Drew. Maybe three years at the A+ level were too long for him without advancement.
        .
        Mark Kertenian would seem to be a logical replacement having coached both the Raptors and AZL Dodgers to championships in his first two years in the Dodgers system.

        1. If not Drew, then I hope that it is Mark Kertenian. One, he is a good coach/manager, and two I will have an in as he and my son are good friends.

    2. I give you massive credit for predicting Kemp would do well from the start. I believe you even dangled an MVP possibility which was insane given the general consensus. Considering he started the All-Star game, I give you a big thumbs up for that call.

  6. Well that is very interesting. Craig Minami of True Blue LA writes this:

    The Baseball America announcement of Saylor’s award noted that Saylor will not be part of the Dodger organization in 2019 and that he intends to coach for another organization in the future.The Dodgers have not announced their 2019 minor league coaching staff as yet this offseason.

    Writer’s note – The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have always been very cooperative with True Blue LA and this writer. That cooperation extended to their coaching staff and for the last three seaons, Drew Saylor was always generous with his time. I just wanted to thank him again for all of those conversations that enhanced our coverage of the Quakes and the players who performed at Loan Mart Field.


    There’s a story here. I had high hopes for Drew. This is the first I have heard of this…

  7. If I were a professional baseball player I would probably have my own hitting coach. Hopefully this new hire only adds to what our players are already capable of and doesn’t detract. Other than that, I can’t find myself getting too involved in the hiring process of a support staff member. I expect nothing of him but to do no harm.

  8. Would it make sense to trade for Realmuto and keep him for one year and then trade him to let Smith or Ruiz take over at catcher in 2020?

  9. MT – I know it’s hard to be humble, but yes you picked Kemp!!
    Damn now were changing managers in 2020!?
    This lack of control is killing me!!!
    LaM up the middle…Good D wins a few games..

  10. Nothing like Joe Buck to get Dodger fans ire up. Below is an article referencing Buck’s comments on a WEEI conference call trying to justify a reason for the poor viewership numbers on the WS. Buck states what many of us agree with, but with his sanctimonious attitude and his obvious dislike for anything LAD, he doesn’t convince me that it was because of the Dodgers play that created the poor ratings.
    .
    https://www.dodgersnation.com/joe-buck-doesnt-think-2018-dodgers-world-series-was-compelling-ce1110/2018/11/28/

  11. Would it make sense to trade Alex Wood for Sonny Gray? Each is entering his final arbitration year and the projected salaries are close (Gray made $6.5m last year and is projected by MLBTR for $9.1m this year; Wood: $6m/$9m).
    *
    Gray is about two years older and throws with his right arm as opposed to his left. Gray has a career WHIP of 1.247 which ballooned last year to 1.496. Wood’s numbers are 1.215 & 1.207 respectively.
    *
    The Yankees are intent on trading Gray, and if he becomes a reclamation project for us maybe he has some upside that Wood lacks. Also, if this is clearly a win on paper for the Yankees, maybe we could either get a prospect from them or a reliever. Another way to go would be to send back a contract we don’t want (Matt Kemp?) to help our financial picture.
    *
    I’m not in any hurry to dump Wood, but I don’t think he has a place for us next year. I’d be somewhat excited by the potential of a motivated Sonny Gray as the 4th or 5th starter in our rotation. And if we can do the swap while adding another player or getting some salary relief we could use on another player, I’d strongly consider it.
    *
    The guess here is he reunites with the Giants GM and puts together a decent bounce-back season pitching to the gaps in that park.

    1. The Rap on Gray is that he cannot pitch on the big stage. Cashman just came out and said it. The rumor is that Oakland wants him again. I would be afraid of him in the lights of LA.

      1. I’m with you Mark on Gray. No thanks. I always found him to be overrated and Cashman announcing to the world they want him gone should tell everyone something.

  12. I kept up with ladodgertalk while in the UK for the last 5 days as much as I could, as always found many post very interesting, heard about the hiring of Robert Van Scoyoc as the Dodgers new hitting coach last night, only thought is wait and see.
    Roberts still only has a contract for 2019, fine with me.
    Trade talks about Stanton, no thanks
    That’s it, meeting coming up.

  13. Drew Saylor – the rest of the story.

    “There are a lot of incredible managers in this organization,” Saylor said. “I have the utmost respect for [Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers manager Bill Haselman] and for [Double-A Tulsa Drillers manager] Scott Hennessey, and I think that those guys are just phenomenal human beings and phenomenal coaches. It’s just one of those things that recognizing some of the distance pieces with the family and I want to be able to explore and to continue to see the game from different vantage points.
    .
    “So I think that all those things that kind of led to the decision and the Dodgers are saying ‘Well, yeah, we’ll let you go and try to find that and be able to explore those opportunities.’ I’m optimistic about where some of the possibilities can lie and maybe I can get a little bit closer to home.”

    “Yeah, I’ve had good conversations with a lot of clubs,” Saylor answered. “I’ve had a lot of clubs reach out asking the same questions you just did, ‘What’s going on? Why did you leave? It seemed like you were doing really well there,’ and again, like I said, I felt that having discussions and talking with a lot of guys, I just felt that I wanted to be able to just explore and be able to see other roles that could possibly be out there that I could be able to fill.
    .
    “It was a mutual decision, it wasn’t one way or the other,” Saylor added. “It was something that I was pushing to experience something different and see a different vantage point. … We decided to part ways and I want to celebrate the years that I had there with the Dodgers, just the enjoyable experience that I had there, and how much I learned and how much I grew.
    .
    “I’m looking forward to the next chapter and, again, just looking to continue to grow. I wish nothing but the best to all the Dodger fans, and the Quake fans, and all the people that I got a chance to impact and be around,” Saylor concluded.

  14. With the deadline for offering arbitration to our 10 potential candidates, let’s review the contract situation for each of them. Any errors here are my own:

    1st Year Eligibles [all made team controlled salary last year]: Taylor, Seager
    2nd Year Eligibles [in parentheses are last year’s salaries as first-year arbitration eligibles]: Y. Garcia (630k), Baez (1.5m), E. Hernandez (1.6m), Pederson (2.6m)
    3rd Year Eligibles [all are free agents after the 2019 season]: Fields (2.2m), Cingrani (2.3m), Wood (6m), Puig (9.21m)

    1. Just so everyone is clear (and I apologize if I am preaching to the choir with this info), November 30 is the date that arbitration players must be offered a contract. There just needs to be a formal offer, but it almost always is never accepted. There is no reason for the player/agent to accept the offer on the spot. Negotiations have not started in earnest as of that date.
      .
      January 11, 2019 – Players and management exchange salary figures.
      .
      February 1 – February 20 – Arbitration hearing dates.
      .
      Matt Swartz (MLBTR) does a very good job of projecting arbitration salaries for each of the arbitration eligible players. Below is what he is projecting for LAD.
      .
      Dodgers (10)
      • Yasiel Puig (5.102) – $11.3MM
      • Alex Wood (5.123) – $9.0MM
      • Joc Pederson (4.028) – $4.3MM
      • Enrique Hernandez (4.054) – $3.2MM
      • Chris Taylor (3.037) – $3.2MM
      • Josh Fields (5.083) – $2.8MM
      • Tony Cingrani (5.088) – $2.7MM
      • Corey Seager (3.032) – $2.6MM
      • Pedro Baez (4.059) – $1.8MM
      • Yimi Garcia (3.149) – $900K
      .
      The numbers in the ( ) is the player’s years of service.

  15. Obviously Buck wanted that to be the narative with the Dodgers in the World Series.

    But unfortunately, that is how most teams in baseball play right now, including the Yankees.

    And the Red Sox were also in this series too, and they are one of two teams that are evolving from just having a HR offense to score runs, so you would think that would draw more people into that World Series.

    I don’t think Friedman liked what he saw with our offense in the World Series, and he had to see that our offense was so inconsistent, throughout the season.

    He blamed our World Series loss on the offense, so I hope he is going to change some things, and possibly make some moves, to improve our offense next year.

    And that is the same reason I keep bringing up our numbers when runners were in scoring position, last year.

    Because it wasn’t like we were just under the league average in these situations, we were at almost a twenty year low, when it came to these situations.

    I have been bringing up Taylor, because he was the extreme when it came to striking out, on this team.

    And strike outs stalled our offense all year, because strike outs kill rallies, and are not productive for an offense.

    And even with that, Taylor had better numbers then more then a couple of players in this line up, in these situations, and Taylor really didn’t have good numbers, in these situations.

    Personally I like Taylor, and I don’t think he is afraid of hard work, so if he can improve from last year, it won’t be because he didn’t put in the work.

    I have no feelings either way with this new hitting instructor.

    And I believe a lot of these people that are making extreme judgments about this new hire, are probably much of the same people, that wanted Turner Ward fired.

    I have no idea if our players were following Turner Ward’s instructions, in these situations last year.

    But I do know our former GM did say, the problem with our offense, was because we were not hitting enough HRs, so maybe Ward was only following instructions, from our GM.

    They are both gone now, so I hope some new eyes, and thoughts, will change our approach in these situations.

    I do have some doubts that certain players will not be able to adjust, in these situations.

    Because the way Turner and Murphy adjust in these situations, is not as easy, as these guys make it look, like AC has alluded too.

    And because of that, I don’t think some of our players are talented enough, to adjust in these situations.

    It is hard to have any bat control, when a hitter is almost always, swinging for the fences.

    And it is much easier for the opposing pitchers to get a hitter out, with only a one dimensional approach.

  16. AC: Do you think [Yimi Garcia (3.149) – $9] will sign for that? 😉 Which of our players had our new hitting coach in the minors when he was there?
    .

    1. Unfortunately for me, I did not copy the 00K at the end. That will teach me. Thank you. I will fix.
      .
      As far as what minor leaguers worked with Scoyoc the last time he was with LAD, I do not know. Hopefully someone will ask that question at his presser whenever that will be.

  17. It’s good to have depth so players can get a break or to fill in when someone is injured. But, the depth the Dodgers had seemed to make each player want to hit more home runs than the player that could put them on the bench. I think the more plate appearances Muncy had, the more he expanded the strike zone and the more aggressive he became. I think Taylor from the beginning wanted to have a bigger year than his breakout year and pushed himself out of his “success zone”.
    .
    Pederson started the year as a contact hitter and was successful at driving in runs without the home run. As the year went on and his swing became more powerful, his RBIs came from home runs instead of timely hits and his strike outs climbed. Kike’ seemed to have only one approach all year and that was swing hard. Bellinger has a big upper cut swing that doesn’t stay in the hitting plane long enough and just might best benefit from the new hitting coach.
    .
    The Dodgers have the players but they need to stay with a plan all year and not let the competition to get into the lineup result in bigger and bigger swings.

  18. I was going to stay out of this discussion as I have made my feelings known about the theory of a “hitting strategist” becoming a MLB hitting coach.
    .
    I have absolutely ZERO problem with someone like Scoyoc working with a JDM or CT3 or a Doug Latta working with JT and Marlon Byrd in the off-season, tearing down the swing and rebuilding. Those type of “hitting gurus” have their place. Every hitter has their own personal hitting coach they work with. So, the Scoyoc’s and Latta’s have a legit place as a hitting instructor. A player needs to work with someone they are comfortable with.
    .
    To me, an instructor is different than a coach. An instructor teaches, and a coach monitors/manages.
    .
    A good example for me is Rick Honeycutt. He is not going to teach CK to throw a change. He will watch film 12 hours a day to find what little mechanical change occurred to create a problem and work on fixing it. Or he will advise a pitcher to concentrate more on a certain pitch and to rely less on others. But he is not going to teach a pitcher how to pitch.
    .
    That is how I look at hitting coaches. Once the players report to ST all of their adjustments should be completed, and ST should be used to get the swing consistent. Hitting is muscle memory, and the more consistent you are the more successful you should be. If you do not have the tools to begin with, then all of the coaching in the world will not make you better.
    .
    A good hitting “coach” will watch film to see what is different from when the hitter was executing well. He will then show the hitter the mechanical change and work on it in the cage. That is where a coach is different than a strategist or instructor.
    .
    That is why I have a problem with Scoyoc as a coach. His “strategy” (resume) is launch angle and power swing. So for the players that buy into that strategy, JT, CT3, Joc, Grandal (last year)…Scoyoc should be good. But what about those players who are not launch angle type hitters. What experience does Scoyoc have to observe and find a correction in a swing for say, Alex Verdugo. Verdugo should not be a launch angle hitter. He has tremendous hand/eye coordination with a quick bat to the ball and should concentrate of gap line drives. Not trying to lift. Not that he is a Dodger, but are you going to make Dee Gordon hit the ball in the air? He has a far better chance at getting on base with an infield single than he does getting a HR on a fly ball. Each batter has a different approach and different mechanics. A quality coach will know each batter’s idiosyncrasies and can see an approach or mechanical change by observing or watching film.
    .
    What concerns me is NOT that Scoyoc is the ML hitting coach, but that his strategy is what the Dodgers are moving towards making their overall organizational strategy. That is why I would not be surprised to see Alex Verdugo traded over say, Joc Pederson. Joc is a hitter that fits the Scoyoc and Dodger(?) philosophy on hitting, and Verdugo does not. DJ Peters will continue to be pushed because of his power (regardless of his K’s) while other OF will not. There is no doubt in my mind that Peters would have been pushed more than Yusniel Diaz. The philosophy with the draft will change because the Dodgers will want launch angle type hitters. To the best of my knowledge, Scoyoc has never worked with professional hitters who do not have the launch angle philosophy, except to tear down and rebuild. What is his philosophy with 2 strikes or runners on base? We know from experience that launch angle swings did not produce the best results in those situations. Does he have the ability to get the players to adapt to a change from all out launch angle to making contact in those situations?
    .
    Hopefully I am wrong with that assessment. Regardless, I am done pontificating on this issue, and I will support the decision until it is proven not to work. I will not enter the season with a negative thought that it will not work. I am in the wait and see mode. If it works, the Dodgers will hit better, and I will be happy. If not, they will waste another year while the Atlanta’s, Milwaukee’s, Philadelphia’s and San Diego’s get better.
    .
    I was not anti Turner Ward. I do not know if he had a different philosophy than management or if he just wanted the three years guaranteed and more $$$. Maybe a little of both. We have no idea what he did behind the scenes with the Dodger hitters. His work with Puig sure seemed to work. At the very least, maybe Scoyoc will help CT3.

  19. DODGERS ACQUIRE ADAM MCCREERY

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired left-handed pitcher Adam McCreery from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for cash considerations.

    McCreery, 25, made one appearance with the Braves last season, making his Major League debut on Aug. 9 at Washington. The Southern California native split the majority of the year at Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett, where he combined to go 2-5 with a 3.62 ERA (22 ER/54.2 IP) in 42 games. The 6’9 southpaw also struck out 71 batters in 54.2 innings while limiting hitters to a .242 average.

    McCreery was originally selected by the Angels in the 2014 First-Year Player draft and has gone 8-10 with nine saves and a 3.42 ERA in 133 relief appearances for six different teams in the Angels and Braves’ organizations. In his five-year minor league career, McCreery has struck out 243 batters in 189.2 innings pitched.

    To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated relief pitcher Pat Venditte for assignment.

    1. Seems like a good move. He has more potential than results, but the article below written on McCreery last Spring gives a good review. It is one of those that will get excoriated by anti Friedman types, but that would probably happen no matter who was signed. At the very worst, he is the next DFA if the team needs another 40 man spot.
      .
      https://www.myajc.com/sports/baseball/braves-reliever-mccreery-making-his-towering-foot-presence-known/Qct40tPUuX46rRJwFKO1SP/

      1. His career numbers are almost 6 BB/9 IP. Last year was over 6. His control is not improving. A waste of a roster spot.

        1. Rick, he has better potential than Venditte. Somebody has to be #40. Friedman has never been shy of signing and soon releasing for somebody better.

        2. You are right. He’s about as bad as that Koufax guy his first few years and he was a total waste of a roster spot! LOOK it up…

  20. Since it’s so slow here, I’ll add this: “In Order of Disappearance” is a good Netflix watch. Basically, a Norwegian “Fargo” [more so the TV series than the movie].

      1. I watched it. I found it uneven. I though by far the best one was the young woman on the caravan. Overall worth the watch. Creative, dark, and well done.

  21. DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2019 COACHING STAFF

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their Major League coaches for the 2019 season, with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (14th season), bench coach Bob Geren (fourth season), first base coach George Lombard (fourth season), bullpen coach Mark Prior (second season) and hitting coach Brant Brown (second season) all returning with Dino Ebel joining the field staff as the third base coach, Robert Van Scoyoc as hitting coach, Aaron Bates as assistant hitting coach and Chris Gimenez as the game planning coach.

    Dave Roberts – Manager (fourth season)
    Bob Geren – Bench Coach (fourth season)
    Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (14th season)
    Robert Van Scoyoc – Hitting Coach (first season)
    Brant Brown –Hitting Strategist (second season)
    George Lombard – First Base Coach (fourth season)
    Dino Ebel – Third Base Coach (first season)
    Mark Prior – Bullpen Coach (second season)
    Aaron Bates – Assistant Hitting Coach (first season)
    Chris Gimenez – Game Planning Coach (first season)

    Ebel, 52, returns to the Dodger organization as the third base coach following 14 seasons in the Angels’ organization, including spending nine seasons as the third base coach on the Major League Staff (2006-14, ’18) and four seasons as the bench coach (2005, 2015-17). Last year, Ebel was also the Angels outfield coach, a position he held previously from 2011-15, and in 2017 he handled infield coaching duties as well. Ebel joined the Angels organization in 2005 as the manager for Triple-A Salt Lake following 17 seasons with the Dodgers as a minor league player, coach and manager. He started his coaching career in 1991, serving as a player-coach with Single-A Bakersfield until 1994. He then held the same role with Single-A San Bernadino in 1995 and then became a full-time coach in 1996. Ebel began his managerial career in 1997 with Single-A San Bernardino, then was the skipper for Rookie-level Great Falls in 1998, Single-A Yakima in 1999, once again for Single-A San Bernadino in 2000, then Single-A Wilmington in 2001 and was the manager for Double-A Jacksonville from 2002-04.

    Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Ebel played six professional seasons with the Dodger organization after signing with the club in 1988 as a free agent. The infielder posted a career .255 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage, while also being named Gulf Coast League Player of the Year in his rookie season in 1988 with Rookie-level Sarasota.

    Van Scoyoc (pronounced scoy-ak), 32, takes over as one of Los Angeles’ hitting coaches after spending last season with the Diamondbacks’ organization. This appointment will mark Van Scoyoc’s first time on a coaching staff at the Major League level and returns to the Dodger organization after spending 2016-17 as the club’s hitting consultant. The Santa Clarita Valley native has worked with Major League hitters as a private hitting instructor since 2011, most notably with two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger award winner J.D. Martinez and Dodger infielder/outfielder Chris Taylor.

    Bates, 34, is in his fifth season with the Dodger organization and will be appointed assistant hitting coach for the Major League club, his first time on a big league staff. In addition to his responsibilities at the Major League level, Bates will be involved with the development of the organizations’ minor league hitters. Following his playing career, Bates began his coaching career in 2015 as the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers hitting coach for two seasons. In 2017 he was the hitting coach with Single-A Great Lakes and last season he spent time as the organization’s assistant hitting coordinator. Bates was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the third round of the 2006 draft out of North Carolina State University and spent eight seasons (2006-14) in the minor leagues as an outfielder in the Red Sox, Twins, Cardinals and Dodger organizations. He posted a .278 career batting average with 77 home runs and 358 RBI and also appeared in five big league games with Boston in 2009 in his only Major League action.

    Gimenez, 35, joins the Dodgers as the game planning coach following a 10-year big league career with the Indians (2009-10, ’14, ‘16), Mariners (2011), Rays (2012-13), Rangers (2014-15), Twins (2017-18) and Cubs (2018). Gimenez was drafted by Cleveland in the 19th round of the 2004 draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno and posted a .218 career batting average with 24 home runs and 89 RBI over 391 career Major League games. He spent the majority of his career as a catcher, appearing in 292 career games, but also saw time at first base, third base, left field and right field, while also making 10 pitching appearances.

        1. I wouldnt throw in May but yes on the other two. I assume there would be other players involved. But the Indians’ outfield is spare.

    1. If they trade Puig they better get Harper. Puig is the only true outfielder who has produced both of the last two seasons. Since I’m not counting Cody as an outfielder, Puig is the last of the outfielders I would deal but since Cleveland is still trying to win that’s why they would want him over Joc.
      Having Kluber would be nice but for those who turn on Kershaw each time the postseason doesn’t go our way. Kluber has his own postseason demons.

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