11/24/2008 5:15 PM ET
Rockies announce 2009 Major League coaching staff
Additions of Jim Tracy, Don Baylor, Rich Dauer, Jim Wright and Brian Jordan complete field staff
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies announced today the following additions to the 2009 Major League coaching staff:
Bench Coach - Jim Tracy
Hitting Coach - Don Baylor
Third Base Coach - Rich Dauer
Bullpen Coach - Jim Wright
Strength & Conditioning Coach - Brian Jordan
Tracy, Baylor, Dauer, Wright and Jordan join pitching coach Bob Apodaca and first base coach Glenallen Hill as Clint Hurdle's coaching staff for 2009. Apodaca and Hill will return in the same roles they held last season, as it was previously announced on Oct. 7.
"We took our time in the selection process and at the end we feel confident that we have been able to put together a coaching staff that will challenge and encourage the personnel on our club," said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. "This staff was brought together for the betterment of our team dynamic and to get back to the standard of team play."
The Rockies coaching staff adds 16 years of Major League managerial experience in addition to Hurdle's seven years of experience with the club (2002-08). The field staff now has three men with postseason managerial experience in Hurdle, Tracy and Baylor. Additionally, the field staff collectively has accumulated approximately 40 seasons of coaching experience at the Major League level. This group, which includes Hurdle, also has amassed 61 seasons in the Majors as players.
Tracy, 52, brings with him seven years of Major League managerial experience to Colorado. Most recently, he managed the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07) after completing a five-year stretch as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001-05). During his time with the Dodgers, he led the club to a 427-383 (.527) regular season record, including a first-place finish in the National League West in 2004. For his efforts in 2004, Tracy finished third in the Manager of the Year balloting. In 2002, Tracy represented the Dodgers as a coach for the National League All-Star team at the 73rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee. In two seasons with the Pirates, Tracy posted a 135-189 (.417) regular season record.
The 2009 season will mark Tracy's 32nd in professional baseball. Prior to his Major League managerial career he served four seasons (1995-98) as bench coach of the Montreal Expos under manager Felipe Alou and two seasons with the Dodgers under manager Davey Johnson (1999-2000). He also spent seven seasons in the Montreal organization as a Minor League manager with Peoria (1987-88), Chattanooga (1989-1991), Harrisburg (1993) and Ottawa (1994). Originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round of the 1977 January First-Year Player Draft, Tracy played two seasons in the Majors. In 87 games from 1980-81, the outfielder hit .249 (46-for-185) with three home runs and 14 RBI. He retired in 1984 after a brief stint with Tucson following a two-year playing career in Japan (1983-84).
Baylor, the first manager in Rockies history, rejoins the organization as the club's Major League hitting coach. The 59-year-old has experience at the Major League level as a manager with the Rockies (1993-98) and Cubs (2000-02), a bench coach with the Mets (2003-04), and as a hitting coach. This will mark Baylor's sixth season as a hitting coach, as he also held that title with the Seattle Mariners (2005), Atlanta Braves (1999), St. Louis Cardinals (1992) and Milwaukee Brewers (1990-91).
Baylor was named as the Rockies first manager on Oct. 27, 1992. In six seasons at the helm, he guided the Rockies to a record of 440-469 (.484). During the 1995 season, Baylor's Rockies went 77-67 as Colorado won the National League Wild Card and earned its first postseason berth in franchise history. Baylor was named Manager of the Year by both the BBWAA and The Sporting News for his efforts that season. In nine seasons as a manager, Baylor holds a 627-689 (.476) record. In his most recent managerial stint, Baylor earned his 500th career managerial victory with Chicago on Sept. 12, 2000.
Baylor played 19 seasons with six teams in the Major Leagues, compiling a .260 (2135-for-8198) career average with 338 home runs and 1276 RBI. He won the American League MVP in 1979 with the Angels. The former outfielder/designated hitter also won three Silver Slugger Awards (1983, 1985, 1986) and amassed three 30-home runs seasons.
The 56-year-old Dauer will begin his fourth season in the Rockies organization. In his role, Dauer will serve as third base coach as well as infield coach and coordinator of all defensive positioning. Dauer has spent the past three seasons (2006-08) as the organization's Minor League roving infield coordinator. Prior to joining the Rockies he served three seasons (2003-05) as Ned Yost's bench coach in Milwaukee. The 2009 season will mark Dauer's ninth as a Major League third base coach, as he also held that position for six seasons with the Kansas City Royals (1997-2002) and two seasons with the Cleveland Indians (1990-91). Dauer spent the 1992 season as a minor league roving infield instructor for Baltimore before working in the same capacity for the Kansas City organization from 1994-96. He spent the 1993 season as a coach for the Triple-A Omaha team. Dauer also coached two seasons at Colorado Springs, the Triple-A home of the Indians in 1988-89, in his first two years with the Cleveland organization. He spent the 1987 season as manager of the San Bernardino Spirits of the California League.
Dauer, a former Major League infielder, played his entire career with the Orioles from 1976-1985. He holds two American League single season fielding records for a second baseman, including 86 consecutive errorless games and 425 straight errorless chances, both set in 1978.
Wright, 53, just completed his 12th season in the Rockies organization. He returns to the Major League coaching staff for the first time since 2002, when he served as the club's pitching coach. Wright has served as the organization's roving pitching coordinator for the past six seasons. In that position, Wright has worked with numerous current Rockies pitchers including but not limited to Aaron Cook, Manuel Corpas, Jeff Francis, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ryan Speier. With Wright's help in 2004, Colorado's system produced the Minor League Player of the Year in Jeff Francis as well as the Minor League Rolaids Relief Man Award Winner in Ryan Speier. From 1999-2001, Wright served as Colorado Springs' pitching coach. He began his career with the Rockies tutoring pitchers at Double-A New Haven from 1997-98.
Prior to joining the Rockies, Wright coached in the Minor Leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies (1990-96) and Chicago Cubs organizations (1984-89). In 1996 he filled in as Major League pitching coach of the Phillies when Johnny Podres was ill. Wright's playing career includes two seasons with the Royals from 1981-82. The right-handed pitcher logged a career record of 2-3 with a 4.04 ERA (75.2 ip, 34 er) in 24 games (four starts).
Jordan, 33, will begin his 10th season with the Rockies, his first as the Major League strength & conditioning coach. Jordan was hired as the organization's Minor League strength coordinator in December, 1999, and served in that position for nine seasons (2000-08). Prior to joining the Rockies, he worked in the Tigers organization as a strength coach for the Toledo Mudhens (1999). Jordan also spent time as a strength coach at the United States Naval Academy and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1998). A native of Birch Harbor, Maine, Jordan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Exercise Science at Springfield College in Massachusetts. He also played baseball all four years while attending Springfield.
Apodaca is set to return for his seventh season with the club. The Rockies had three 10-game winners (Cook, Jimenez and De La Rosa) in 2008, the first time that has occurred since 2003. Colorado pitchers allowed just 148 home runs in 2008, the fourth-lowest total in the National League. In 2007, the Rockies established a franchise record with a 4.32 ERA.
Hill, who will begin his sixth season as a member of the Rockies organization, returns as the club's first base coach for his third season in that role. Hill also coordinates baserunning and outfield instruction for the Rockies, who led the National League with 141 stolen bases in 2008.