Honeycutt a holdover on new Dodgers coaching staff

Honeycutt a holdover on new Dodgers coaching staff

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers announced the Major League coaching staff of manager Dave Roberts on Thursday, with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and catching instructor Steve Yeager the holdovers from former manager Don Mattingly's staff.

Roberts said the lateness of putting the staff together, after a month-long search that led to his hiring, left a reduced pool of coaching candidates.

"When you're looking into the end of November, a lot of guys are kind of locked in," he said. "To come away with the staff we have, I feel very fortunate. It's me exhausting all my relationships in the game since 1994 to come up with a group to help the Dodgers, and ultimately I feel great about the decisions I made."

Dave Roberts on High Heat

Honeycutt, 61, has been pitching coach since 2006, spanning the managerial tenures of Grady Little, Joe Torre, Mattingly and now Roberts. Honeycutt's return assures a degree of continuity for the pitching staff, which under his direction has led the league in the most critical pitching categories.

Bench coach Bob Geren, 54, came to the Dodgers after serving as bench coach of the New York Mets. Geren managed the Oakland A's when Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi was there, and he was one of two big league managers (Bud Black the other) to interview for Los Angeles' managerial job.

First-base coach George Lombard wore the Dodgers uniform as a non-roster player during the spring of 2008, but he was released. Lombard has been a manager and instructor in Atlanta's farm system the past six years. He spent nearly a decade in the Braves' system when Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten was there. Lombard, 40, got the job that was rumored to be going to Gabe Kapler, who instead continues as the club's director of player development.

Third-base coach Chris Woodward, 39, a Major League infielder for parts of 12 seasons, most recently was first-base coach of the Mariners.

Batting coach Turner Ward, 50, most recently was hitting coach of the D-backs and is best remembered in a Dodgers context for his role in the 2013 incident when L.A. reliever J.P. Howell raced in from the bullpen and pinned Ward's neck against the railing of the photo well next to the visiting dugout. He was hired for the D-backs job by Byrnes.

Assistant batting coach Tim Hyers, 44, most recently was Minor League hitting coordinator of the Boston Red Sox. He also served as interim hitting coach for the Red Sox in 2014 while Greg Colbrunn took a medical leave.

Bullpen coach Josh Bard, 37, is another of the coaches with strong ties to Byrnes from his catching days in Cleveland and San Diego and was a teammate of Roberts with the Padres. He failed to make the Dodgers as a non-roster invitee in 2012 and has been a special assistant with the organization the past three years.

Juan Castro, 43, takes the newly created position of quality assurance coach. He returns to the Dodgers after a brief stint managing in the Mexican League following two seasons as the Dodgers' Minor League infield coordinator and a 17-season Major League infielder career. Castro is the only member of the staff that speaks Spanish as his primary language.

Yeager, 67, enters his fifth season as the catching instructor, working during Spring Training and at home games.

Bullpen catchers Rob Flippo and Steve Cilladi also return.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.