After the Dodgers second straight World Series appearance, their coaching tree has been plucked as Chris Woodward was named Manager of the Texas Rangers.
Earlier today, Chris Woodward was introduced as the next manager of the Texas Rangers. With Woodward getting picked off the Dodgers’ coaching staff, the Dodgers will now need to find their next third base coach. Woodward had been with the Dodgers since Dave Roberts was hired in 2016.
While Woodward is often brought up in the infamous game five of the 2017 World Series for his miscommunication with Chris Taylor, that is definitely not how Chris Woodward should be remembered. Woodward did great work with the Dodgers infielders especially on the defensive side of things.
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Corey Seager has seen his defense improve in recent years after working with Chris Woodward. Then there is Justin Turner who along with blossoming into one of the best third base hitters in baseball, he has also turned into one of the best defensive third basemen. No matter who has played the infield for the Dodgers over the past three years, the defense has been very steady.
In the Dodgers’ end of the season press conference, Andrew Friedman talked about Chris Woodward when he was asked to reflect on what he thought about Manny Machado. Friedman noted that Machado was a lot better defensively than they anticipated and that Chris Woodward was one of the reasons why. Machado was just one of the many infielders who has seen their defense improve after working with Woodward.
The Dodgers must now find a new third base coach, or a new first base coach if they decide to move George Lombard over to the third base side of the field. The candidates aren’t so obvious although there are a few that could be good picks if they’re interested.
While fans would love Chase Utley to be a coach, it’s unlikely that he would accept a role since he retired to spend more time with his family. It would make sense for Utley to be in some kind of front office or occasional coaching instructor role, but a full-time role is not going to interest him at this time.
Whomever the next third base coach is for the Dodgers, it will need to be someone who can take on the role of coaching up the infielders much like Woodward did. Otherwise, the Dodgers would need to hire two new coaches. It may be a bit of a long shot but Nomar Garciaparra anyone?