Diamondbacks mutually split with hitting coach Dave Magadan
Following a season in which the Arizona Diamondbacks finished tied for the third-worst team batting average in MLB, the team announced Monday they have parted ways with hitting coach Dave Magadan.
The Diamondbacks as a team hit .235 in 2018, tied with the Padres. Arizona’s batting average (27th), on base percentage (23rd), slugging (22nd), OPS (21st), hits (28th) and strikeouts (sixth-most) were all in the bottom third of baseball. Their runs scored (693) was 19th.
Under Magadan, the D-backs’ team batting average decreased each season. Arizona finished with a .264 team batting average in 2015 before Magadan arrived. Under Magadan, they hit for a .261 batting average in 2016 and .254 batting average in 2017 before it fell even more in 2018.
“It was a mutually-agreed-upon decision,” Lovullo said. “On the one side, the offensive performance wasn’t up to what I felt like was our capabilities, and in our discussions with him, he expressed an interest to be a little bit closer to home and be near his family.”
Magadan joined the organization in 2016, replacing Turner Ward on manager Chip Hale’s staff. He was retained by Torey Lovullo, who was hired to replace Hale in 2016.
“Those are difficult decisions,” Lovullo said. “Those are things that we walk through often and the relationships that we’ve built, that I’ve built with Mags allowed us to have an open dialogue and I appreciated his honesty.”
The search for a new hitting coach will include assistant hitting coach Tim Laker, but likely not Robert Van Scoyoc, whom the team hired last offseason.
“I think we certainly are trying to figure out different ways to attack the offensive game,” general manager Mike Hazen said. “[Van Scoyoc’s] role is a little less with the major league club and more all-encompassing with the draft and our player development group and things like that, and certainly some role within the major league clubhouse as well.
“I think going in that direction would limit the impact to the scope of just the major league club.”
Mike Butcher (pitching coach), Mike Fetters (bullpen), Robby Hammock (quality control & catching), Dave McKay (first base), Jerry Narron (bench), Tony Perezchica (third base) and Luis Urueta (coach) will all be retained for the 2019 season.
The D-backs finished 82-80 on the season and in third place in the NL West despite leading the division for more days throughout the season than either the Rockies or the Dodgers, both of which made the playoffs.
98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Tom Kuebel and Matt Layman contributed to this report.