The Diamondbacks on Friday began the process of filling out their revamped coaching staff, hiring Dave McKay as first base coach, moving Glenn Sherlock to third base coach and promoting Turner Ward to hitting coach.
The team also announced that Alan Trammell will return as bench coach under manager Kirk Gibson.
The 63-year-old McKay has spent 30 years on major league coaching staffs, most recently serving as first base coach with the Cubs last season. He worked from 1984-1995 with the A’s in roles including first base coach, bullpen coach and bench coach before following manager Tony LaRussa to St. Louis in 1996, where he served as the Cardinals’ first base coach until 2011.
“The more people I meet in the organization and the more information I learn about the D-backs, it excites me to now be a part of it,” McKay said in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier and am looking forward to spring training already. It will be great to be home during the season, but being a D-back is what’s most exciting.”
Sherlock, 53, has been with the Diamondbacks since their inception. He served as third base coach temporarily in 2004 after Al Pedrique was named interim manager, and he spent the next nine seasons as bullpen and catching coach.
“I really appreciate the confidence that Gibby and (Kevin Towers) have in me to be third base coach for the D-backs,” said Sherlock. “I’ve enjoyed my time as bullpen coach and will miss the day-to-day grind with the relievers, but being at third will allow me to spend more time in-game with (catcher Miguel Montero) and the catchers. This is a tremendous opportunity, and I feel I’m prepared for the challenge.”
The 48-year-old Ward spent last season as the Diamondbacks’ assistant hitting coach. It was his first year in the big leagues after working for five seasons at Double-A Mobile as hitting coach (2008-10) and manager (2011-12). In Mobile, Ward aided in the development of several members of the D-backs’ young core, including Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton.
“I am very excited about being hitting coach for the D-backs,” Ward said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to talking to the guys, understanding and helping develop their approach and moving forward to doing some game planning for the upcoming season.
“Most of all, it’s just being available. In that position, you just want to be there for the guys and push them. Knowing a lot of the guys from last year will help as we start these conversations. It’s a progress and a process I’m looking forward to.”
The 55-year-old Trammell returns for his fourth season as bench coach and 15th in a managerial or coaching capacity.
“I couldn’t be happier to return to the D-backs for another season,” said Trammell. “I can’t wait to start working with Turner Ward and Glenn Sherlock once again and getting to know Dave McKay and the other new coaches that will be joining the organization soon.”