Gibson signs 2-year deal; staff changes

PHOENIX — The D-backs will hold a 3 p.m. MST press conference to announce that they have signed manager Kirk Gibson to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013.

Gibson served as interim manager after A.J. Hinch was dismissed on July 1 and compiled a 34-49 record while receiving praise inside the organization for changing the culture inside the clubhouse.

At the time of his promotion, Gibson was in his fourth season as the team’s bench coach after serving in the same capacity for the Tigers from 2003-05.
The D-backs also shook up their coaching staff Monday, reassigning or dismissing all but first-base coach Matt Williams and bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock.

Bench coach Bo Porter and hitting coach Jack Howell were dismissed, while pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and third-base coach Jack Youngblood were offered other positions in the organizations.

Williams, who played for the D-backs from 1998-2003, just completed his first season as the team’s first-base coach. Previously he had worked for the organization as a Spring Training Instructor and He also has a small ownership stake in the franchise.

Williams has been credited with helping third baseman Mark Reynolds cut down his league-leading error total from 2008 and infielders like shortstop Stephen Drew have praised him for his work with them.

Sherlock has been with the D-backs since their inception. He served as the organization’s catching coordinator from 1996-1997 when the franchise only had Minor League teams. Following the 1997 Expansion Draft, Sherlock joined the team’s Major League staff as a bullpen/catching coach.

Aside from one-year stints as bench coach and first-base coach, Sherlock has remained in the bullpen coach role, working under Buck Showalter, Bob Brenly, Al Pedrique, Bob Melvin, A.J. Hinch and now Gibson.

Porter joined the coaching staff prior to 2010 after being the third-base coach for the Marlins. Porter served as Hinch’s third-base coach, but moved to bench coach when Hinch was dismissed July 1. He interviewed for the Marlins’ managerial opening in June and is expected to be a candidate for several managing jobs this fall.

Stottlemyre and Howell were promoted to their positions on May 8, 2009 when Hinch was hired to replace Melvin.

Stottlemyre had been the organization’s Minor League pitching coordinator from 2007 until the time of his promotion.

Howell had worked for nine seasons in the Arizona organization and was the team’s Minor League field coordinator before being promoted last year.

Youngblood was named the team’s third-base coach in July after Gibson was named interim manager. Prior to that he had served as the organization’s outfield/baserunning coordinator.

1 Comment

Unless new GM Kevin Towers has some influence with Tony Gwynn on giving tips to Mark Reynolds on ‘how to hit in a particular situation, with a particular count’, I don’t visualize a future with the D-Backs for Mark. The D-Backs have too many strikeouts on the wrong side of the ledger. Being stubborn and going back to ‘my old way of hitting’ won’t win over Capt Kirk’s heart either. Gibby’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure.
In addition to a new pitching, batting, and bench coach, how about adding everyday hitters who make contact most of the time. It may help the cause of those who oppose moving the fences back ten or more feet.

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