The Arizona Diamondbacks have named Ron Gardenhire as bench coach, Tony Perezchica as third base coach, Mike Fetters as bullpen coach and Robby Hammock as quality control/catching coach, as announced by D-backs Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Hazen and Manager Torey Lovullo.
In addition, Dave Magadan (hitting), Mike Butcher (pitching), Dave McKay (first base) and Ariel Prieto (coach/interpreter) all return to their coaching positions held from the 2016 season.
Gardenhire, 59, enters his first season in the D-backs’ organization and his first as a Major League bench coach. In 13 seasons as manager of the Minnesota Twins, he was the winningest manager in club history (1,608-1,039; .507), made 6 postseason appearances and was named the AL Manager of the Year in 2010. He also spent 11 seasons (1991-2001) as the Twins’ third base coach, including the 1991 championship club. Gardenhire returned to Minnesota in 2016 as a special assistant to the general manager.
Perezchica, 50, enters his 15th season in the D-backs’ organization and first as a coach at the Major-League level and his 32nd season in professional baseball. He was Arizona’s Field/Infield Coordinator for the last 3 seasons (2014-16) and Infield Coordinator for the previous 8 (2006-13). The Mexicali, Mexico, native spent 3 seasons as manager in the D-backs’ Minor League system with Double-A Tennessee (2005), Single-A South Bend (2004) and Rookie-Level Missoula (2003). Perezchica began his coaching career as a hitting coach in the Yankees’ system from 1997-2002.
Hammock, 39, enters his first season as a coach at the Major-League level, sixth in a managerial/coaching capacity, and 18th overall in the D-backs’ organization. Hammock, who was named the Southern League’s Best Manager by Baseball America in August, has managed the last 4 seasons with Double-A Mobile (2015-16), Single-A Advanced Visalia (2014) and Rookie-Level Missoula (2013), and began his coaching career as the hitting coach with the AZL D-backs in 2012. He played for the D-backs in parts of 6 Major League seasons (2003-04, ’06-08, ’11), and caught Randy Johnson’s perfect game on May 18, 2004 at Atlanta.
Fetters, 51, returns for his fifth season as a member of the D-backs’ coaching staff and eighth in the organization, including his time in a front office capacity. He spent the previous 4 seasons as Arizona’s quality control coach, assisting with on-field preparations and scouting. Prior to his time as a coach, Fetters served as an advisor to baseball operations in 2012, and worked as a part-time analyst on the D-backs’ radio broadcasts from 2010-12. He pitched parts of 16 Major League seasons with the Angels (1989-91, ‘98), Brewers (1992-97), A’s (1998), Orioles (1999), Dodgers (2000-01), Pirates (2001-02), Twins (2003) and D-backs (2002, ’04).
Magadan, 54, enters his second season as the D-backs’ hitting coach and his 15th overall in that position. Arizona’s offense ranked among the NL leaders in several categories in 2016, including triples (1st, 56), hits (2nd, 1479), average (3rd, .261), slugging pct. (3rd, .432), extra-base hits (3rd, 531) and total bases (3rd, 2446).
McKay, 66, returns for his fourth season as first base coach with the D-backs and 34th on a Major League coaching staff. Arizona led the Majors with a 81.5 stolen base pct. in 2016, and finished third overall with 137 steals, tying a club record set in 1999.
Butcher, 51, will return for his second season as the D-backs’ pitching coach, his 12th in that capacity. In 2016, the D-backs established a club record with 1,318 strikeouts, 15 more than the previous mark set in 2002 (1,303).
Prieto, 47, returns for his third season in the D-backs’ organization as a coach and interpreter. Prior to joining Arizona, he spent the previous 3 seasons in Oakland (2012-14) in a similar capacity.