D-backs hire Magadan as hitting coach

D-backs hire Magadan as hitting coach

PHOENIX -- After some serious shuffling, some expected and some a surprise, the D-backs appear to have their coaching staff set for 2016 as they hired Dave Magadan on Wednesday to be their hitting coach.

Magadan will replace Turner Ward, who left the organization earlier this month to pursue other opportunities. The team had asked Ward to return for his third season as hitting coach.

"Needless to say I'm very excited," Magadan said. "It's a very young and dynamic ballclub, really good offense, some really interesting to say the least, like [Paul] Goldschmidt and [A.J.] Pollock and [David] Peralta and [Jake] Lamb at third and some guys coming up -- the [Peter] O'Briens and guys like that."

D-backs manager Chip Hale will start his second year at the helm with a new pitching coach (Mike Butcher), third-base coach (Matt Williams), bullpen coach (Garvin Alston) and Magadan. First-base coach Dave McKay, bench coach Glenn Sherlock and assistant hitting coach Mark Grace return from last year's staff.

Magadan played for seven teams over a 16-year career during which the left-handed hitter compiled a slash line of .288/.390/.377.

One of those seasons, he was teammates with Grace on the 1996 Cubs.

"We actually were pretty close," Magadan said. "I'm a big fan of Mark Grace. I'm sure he's been a big reason why the team has done as well as it has, and I'm looking forward to working with him and getting his input and making him a big part of this offense going forward."

Magadan, Stewart on new role

Following his retirement after the 2001 season, Magadan joined the Padres organization as a Minor League hitting instructor before being promoted to the big league job in 2003.

After being dismissed by the Padres in 2006, Magadan became the Red Sox hitting coach the following year during which Boston won its second World Series in four seasons.

Magadan stayed with the Red Sox for six seasons before departing on his own accord to become the Rangers' hitting coach in 2013.

Last season under Magadan, the Rangers were third in the American League in runs per game and in on-base percentage with a .325 mark.

Magadan inherits an offense that finished in the top three in the National League in batting average (.264), on-base percentage (.324) and slugging percentage (.414). He looks at himself as more of an "offensive coordinator" coming up with a game plan for his hitters.

"Certainly they're on the right track," Magadan said of Arizona's offense. "They had a great season last year offensively, so I'm not looking to dismantle or rearrange what they've done over the last couple of years. It's my job to make the adjustments, understand these guys, what makes them tick, and then interject stuff that I think can make them better. There's always room to get better."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.