Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return to that job in 2020, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (via Twitter). Honeycutt is expected to remain in the organization in a special assistant capacity.
The departure of Honeycutt from the staff of skipper Dave Roberts will not necessarily kick off a hiring search for a replacement. Bullpen coach Mark Prior appears to be in line for a promotion, Friedman indicated. There’ll be at least one new coaching staff opening regardless.
Honeycutt spent two decades in the majors as a sturdy starter and then reliever. He mirrored that longevity as a coach, running the Dodgers’ pitching operations for a remarkable 14 years. It seems that serious back issues and the rigors of the MLB schedule have combined to lead him to a more relaxed role in the organization.
Prior’s playing career was the opposite of Honeycutt’s — brilliant but excruciatingly fleeting. He tried for years to make it back from arm injuries but never did. Once he turned to teaching pitching, Prior quickly proved his merit. After a stint with the Padres organization, he spent the last two years as Honeycutt’s understudy.
Friedman also confirmed that Roberts will indeed be back as the manager — as had already been reported. Indeed, he expressed surprise that some had questioned whether Roberts would return after another exceptional regular season. The skipper’s job security became an issue after his confounding management of the team’s pitching resources in the recent NLDS Game 5 loss. But Friedman said that the organization still sees Roberts as an “additive part” of the club’s effort to capture an elusive World Series title.