D-backs, hitting coach Magadan part ways
PHOENIX -- In the wake of a disappointing season, the D-backs on Monday mutually parted ways with hitting coach Dave Magadan.
"On the one side, obviously, the offensive performance wasn't up to what I felt like was our capabilities," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "And in our discussions with him he expressed an interest in being a little bit closer to home and be near his family [in Florida]."
The D-backs struggled mightily at the plate in the month of May with a combined slash line of .193/.264/.316 and they did not finish the season strong as they had a .661 OPS during their September fade as the team went from first place in the National League West at the beginning of the month to nine games out by the end.
Magadan, who had a 16-year big league career as a player, had been the D-backs hitting coach for the past three seasons. Last year under his tutelage, the D-backs set a franchise record with 220 home runs.
"Those are difficult decisions," Lovullo said. "Those are things that we walk through often and the relationship that I built with Mags allowed us to have an open dialogue and I appreciated his honesty."
The rest of Lovullo's staff will return, including Mike Butcher (pitching coach), Mike Fetters (bullpen), Robby Hammock (quality control and catching), Dave McKay (first base), Jerry Narron (bench), Tony Perezchica (third base) and Luis Urueta (coach).
Assistant hitting coach Tim Laker is a candidate to replace Magadan, but if he does not get that job he will return in his same role.
Changing hitting coach is not going to solve the team's offensive woes, as both Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen acknowledged.
Injuries certainly were a factor with third baseman Jake Lamb missing most of the season, outfielder Steven Souza Jr. opening the year on the disabled list and possibly never being fully healthy and outfielder A.J. Pollock struggling for consistency after spending six weeks on the disabled list.
"We've got to evaluate what happened from an offensive standpoint," Lovullo said. "We did not live up to the expectations that we had. Coming into Spring Training we were very optimistic about having a very successful offensive campaign and it didn't happen. I think the injuries are one of them. A couple of guys were probably trying to do too much too often. Then there was a certain degree of frustration that this team was dealing with towards the end of the season."