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On Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they have finalized Torey Lovullo’s coaching staff with the hiring of Damion Easley, Barry Enright, Drew Hedman, Rick Short and Dan Carlson as assistant coaches.
“I’ve been telling you guys I was going to look for the best possible coaches,” Lovullo said in a media appearance while on vacation in France on Tuesday. “I wanted to shoot for the moon and give our players a chance to get the best teachers around them every single day. With that, in these final announcements, I feel like we filled it in as good as if not better than I had hoped.”
Easley is the only outside hire, though he did hit .233 in 90 games for the Diamondbacks back in 2006. He will take on the role of assistant major league hitting coach. He spent the past three seasons as the hitting coach for the San Diego Padres. Lovullo said he felt like they “struck gold” with bringing him on.
The other four coaches have all previously been with the organization in some capacity. They will also all take on hybrid roles that will see their time split between the major and minor leagues.
Drew Hedman and Rick Short were interim co-hitting coaches for Arizona this past year after they parted ways with Darnell Coles and Eric Hinske midseason. Hedman will be the assistant major league hitting coach and director of minor league hitting. Short will also serve as assistant major league hitting coach but he will also serve as the assistant minor league coordinator.
On the pitching side, Dan Carlson and former Diamondbacks draft pick Barry Enright will both serve as assistant major league pitching coaches and minor league pitching coordinators.
Lovullo explained that the reason for the dual roles is to create some continuity for players between the major and minor leagues.
“That’s important,” he added. “We have really good young players inside of our system, and they’re getting ready to emerge. Player development is the backbone of our organization, and I wanted to make sure that by rotating coaches between the majors and minor leagues — even though it’s a new thought, I think some organizations have been doing it for the past couple of years — it’s a very healthy way for us to create continuity and make sure that we’re all pulling on the same rope in the same direction.”
“This helps make the transition and that relationship building a little bit easier for the players.”
Lovullo admitted that even though the timing worked out prior to the inevitable end of the labor agreement and lockout, the Dec. 1 deadline did not create a sense of urgency to have his coaching search completed.
“Once we got the head pitching coach and hitting coach in place, I wanted to take my time with the next layer of guys, and I think Brent did too. And I think Joe did as well. We didn’t have Dec. 1 on our mind at all, and if it took us a little bit longer, we would have done what we could have to get the right guys. And that was the most important thing.”
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