I was really nervous about this one.
It was clear when they started cleaning house in their scouting and minor league coaching departments during the latter half of the 2015 season that the Dodgers would do the same in Los Angeles. Gone would be Don Mattingly and all the other coaches, but one name stuck out as an potential exception to that rule. Surely, one name must be retained.
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who is the best in the business, was perilously placed on that same chopping block, and I wondered if the front office's desire to shape the club in their own image would mean the end of his time with the franchise. Fortunately, based on a report by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports this morning, that is not the case.
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has a new two-year deal to stay with the Dodgers, sources say.Woo! We dodged a close one there.
The deal is expected to pay Honeycutt about $750,000 a year, putting him in the upper echelon of pitching coaches.
As I said, Honeycutt is the best pitching coach in the game, and that's not just hyperbole. Eric Stephen at True Blue LA provided a glimpse at just how good he has been:
In his 10 seasons as pitching coach, the Dodgers lead MLB in ERA (3.66), FIP (3.70), xFIP (3.79), SIERA (3.76), strikeouts (12,605), strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.55), strikeout rate (20.7 percent), K-BB% (12.6 percent), WHIP (1.269), opponents batting average (.242), ERA- (94), FIP- (92) and fWAR (199.6).Yeah... He's been that good... So, thanks to the geek-squad for recognizing what's plain to all, and thanks to Rick Honeycutt for staying in Los Angeles for at least another two years.
BTW, there has been some speculation that this two-year deal will ultimately transition into something more permanent for Honeycutt, via a tweet from Jon Morosi of FoxSports:
In celebration of Honeycutt's decision to stay with the franchise I made the above two fantasy cards of him. Both photographs were taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo (here & here) and I used both the 1971 and 1972 Topps Baseball card designs.Sources: Rick Honeycutt expected to remain pitching coach for two seasons, then transition into special assistant role. @FOXSports— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 31, 2015
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