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D-backs to make change at bench coach, retain Jerry Narron

Jerry Narron #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on Sunday, April 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/MLB via Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Monday that both Jerry Narron and Luis Urueta would return for the 2020 season, but their roles may not be the same.

In an end-of-season press conference, manager Torey Lovullo said the team has made Urueta its bench coach, a role that Narron held through this season. Narron remains on the major league staff, but the team has “readjusted a couple of their responsibilities,” Lovullo said.

If a managerial or bench coach position were to open up for Narron, Lovullo said the team would allow him to explore that opportunity.

“The thinking is that they both offer me different areas of strengths,” Lovullo said. “I felt like there was some thoughts that Jerry had inside of the dugout that were fantastic and second to none. I thought he ran a baseball game extremely well. And I want to explore that option with [Urueta].

“I feel like it’s my responsibility to bring along staff members and teach them, tutor them, mentor them, and allow them to grow. And I just felt like the growth aspect for [Urueta] was really enticing for me. And I think he’s loaded with potential. And I didn’t want to keep him in the position that he was in without allowing him to reach his full potential.”

Narron was originally hired by the Diamondbacks as the manager of the Triple-A Reno Aces prior to the 2017 season, but was recalled to the major league staff to serve as bench coach in the absence of Ron Gardenhire. Following that season, he was named the team’s permanent bench coach.

“I look at the bench coach position in two different ways. you have responsibilities in-game that are obvious, and then there are some responsibilities that take place behind the scenes and inside of the clubhouse and creating continuity. [Urueta’s] got a tremendous personality. He deals with people very well. Not to say that Jerry didn’t, but I’m excited to see what [Urueta] can do on both sides of the ball.

“One in particular, I think there’s some exciting growth for him, and that’s inside of the dugout. He’s going to sit next to me, he’s going to challenge me, he’s going to continue to offer the great baseball expertise that he’s had for the many years he’s been in this game. And I feel like he deserved this opportunity.”

Urueta has been in the Diamondbacks organization for 18 seasons, originally as a player and later as a coach or manager in various capacities. He’s been a major league coach for the past two seasons.

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