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And the changes keep coming in the Diamondbacks front office.
On Tuesday the D-Backs' first-year GM Kevin Towers announced the team has filled four more coaching positions. Alan Trammel has been named bench coach, Don Baylor has been named as hitting coach, Eric Young has been named first base coach, and Charles Nagy will serve as pitching coach.
All four are accomplished former major leaguers. Between them they share 11 All-Star appearances, 7 Silver Slugger awards, 4 Gold Glove awards, 2 World Series championships, 1 World Series MVP, 1 Regular Season MVP, and 1 Manager of the Year award. As you can see, there has certainly been an influx of hardware into the organization.
"We've felt all though we've added a lot of experience to the coaching staff. Not only managerial experience, but all these guys are highly successful major league players," Towers said. "I like the personalities. I like how they all fit. I always said putting a coaching staff together is a little bit like a ball club."
Indeed, with Trammel, Baylor, Young, and Nagy joining the ranks of Kirk Gibson and Matt Williams, the Diamondbacks would certainly field a very formidable old-timers team.
Trammel has spent the last four seasons as the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs. He was an individual that Gibson felt he could trust. The two have a history together, as both players and coaches. From 2003-2005 the roles were reversed when Trammel served as manager of the Tigers, and Gibson was his bench coach.
"I know a lot about him. He's probably one of my better friends, I probably talk more baseball with Alan Trammel than anybody since I've been involved in the game." Gibson explained. "I think we share similar beliefs and philosophies, and we have the same foundation. We were taught the same way."
Don Baylor has spent the past two years as the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies. In 1979 Baylor won the AL MVP trophy and he is one of two players to ever reach the World Series in three consecutive years with three different teams. Throughout his career, Baylor was also hit by 267 pitches, the fourth highest total in Major League Baseball history.
"When he became available a couple weeks ago, he literally shot right to the top of our list. [He has provided] presence, experience, and results with the clubs he has been with. I'm very excited to have Don," Towers explained. "He actually said ‘is there incentives if I can get us under fifteen hundred [strikeouts]?' I said, you get us under a thousand, there will be a lot of incentives.
"Guys like J-Up, CY, Drew, and Montero; I could really see these guys benefitting from Don. He certainly understands strikeouts are part of the game but, from the interview process, he talked about approach, preparation, knowing the opposing pitcher and opposing bullpens. Hopefully we'll have a better plan of attack," Towers finished.
Eric Young spent the last year as a minor league trainer for the Houston Astros, principally revolving his coaching around baserunning and outfield play. From 2007-2009 he served as an analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Young garnered several honors throughout his career, and was well known for his speed and aggressiveness on the base-paths.
Charles Nagy worked as the pitching coach for the Columbus Clippers, the Cleveland Indians' Triple-A affiliate, this past season. Nagy was a first round pick in 1988 and amassed 129 career wins.
"Frankly, he surprised me. I asked him my first question [in the interview] and he answered my first three with his first [answer]. We had similar thoughts on things." Towers said. "He was very comfortable. There are times in interviews I try to maybe challenge people a little bit. He was very calm, very collected.
"In the end, I was just very impressed with him. I think he's got huge upside and feel very comfortable with where he is going to take our staff," Towers concluded.
Overall, the additions seem like encouraging moves. The Diamondbacks appear to be focused on immersing the club in a winning environment, perhaps hoping that past successes will breed future triumphs.