Rockies part ways with Magadan, reassign Cole
DENVER -- The Rockies and hitting coach Dave Magadan decided to part ways, and the club reassigned longtime third-base coach Stu Cole to a Minor League position, the team announced Wednesday morning.
Replacements were not immediately announced. The moves come on the heels of a 68-94 record and a last-place finish in the National League West.
Magadan, 60, took over as hitting coach in 2019, replacing Duane Espy. The next hitting coach will be the third since Bud Black became manager in 2017. There have been 13 hitting coaches in club history, including eventual manager Clint Hurdle, returning former manager Don Baylor and two who served in two stints, Alan Cockrell and Espy.
The move to a different voice in the role comes on the heels of a longtime issue -- the wild swing between home and road production. In 2022, the Rockies led the Majors in home OPS at .803, but they were last in road OPS at .621.
A particular issue was power. The Rockies were last in the Majors in road homers with 51 and finished in a tie for 10th at home with 98 -- below expectations for a club at Coors Field. Kris Bryant’s injury, which limited him to 42 games, was part of the issue, but only C.J. Cron (29) and Ryan McMahon (20) reached 20 home runs for the season.
Cole, 56, became third-base coach in 2013 under manager Walt Weiss. Before that, he had coached in the Rockies’ system since 1995, including managerial stints at Double-A Tulsa from 2006-09 and Triple-A Colorado Springs from ‘09-12.
The Rockies have long carried a reputation as a strong defensive club. Cole -- whose duties included working with infielders -- worked with Nolan Arenado through his first eight Gold Glove Awards (he kept the streak going with the Cardinals last year), and with DJ LeMahieu as he won three in a Rockies uniform before joining the Yankees.
In 2022, the Rockies tied for fourth in the Majors with 100 errors. It wasn’t all in the infield -- their catchers’ 17 errors led the Majors, and their outfielders’ 17 tied for fourth. But with a starting rotation populated mainly by ground-ball pitchers, the infield issues stood out. McMahon went from Gold Glove finalist in 2021 to tying for fifth among all Major League players with 17 errors. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers, however, while still considered a developing player, finished second in the Majors in defensive runs saved with 22 (according to Fangraphs).
Throughout the season and especially at the end, when the team turned over starts to rookies and callups, Cole spent much of his pregame time working fundamental drills with infielders. The Rockies’ release did not detail Cole’s new player development role and teaching responsibilities.
The Rockies announced that Black will retain the rest of his 2022 coaching staff -- bench coach Mike Redmond, first-base coach Ron Gideon, pitching coach Darryl Scott, bullpen coach Reid Cornelius and assistant hitting coaches Andy González and P.J. Pilittere.