Turner Ward has been promoted to hitting coach for the D’backs. Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
While the Arizona Diamondbacks have been fairly quiet with regards to player movement, there has been a lot of shufling with regards to their coaching staff. The latest news involves Turner Ward‘s promotion to the hitting coach’s spot, Glenn Sherlock’s move to the third base coaching lines and Dave McKay coming aboard to be the team’s new first base coach.
Ward ascended into his new position after Don Baylor left to become the hitting coach of the Los Angeles Angels. He was the assistant under Baylor last season and prior to that, managed the Mobile BayBears to consecutive Southern League (AA) Championships. Ward spent 12 seasons in the Majors as a player including a two year stint with the D’backs in 1999 and 2000. During the D’back-Dodger brawl in June, he managed to get himself kicked out of the game after being confronted by several LA players, notably J.P Howell.
Sherlock has been with the D’backs’ organization since it first began play in 1998, working in a variety of capacities. He spent the past nine seasons as the team’s bullpen/catching coach, the second go-around in that position. This will also be the second time Sherlock has been on the third base line, having served in that capacity during the 2004 season. He has also served as a first base coach and was also the Snakes’ bench coach for the 2003 season.
McKay is one of the most well-respected coaches in the game. After retiring as a player following the 1982 season, McKay took a year off before heading into the coaching ranks. He is now entering his 31st season, having spent time with the Oakland A’s (1984-1995) St. Louis Cardinals (1996-2011) and Chicago Cubs (2012-2013). McKay comes highly recommended from legendary manager Tony LaRussa, one of his closest friends and is credited with helping Alfonso Soriano vastly improve on his defense in the outfield.
The D’backs are still in the market for a pitching coach and a bullpen coach.