The Colorado Rockies announced Thursday morning via Twitter that they have agreed to “mutually part ways” with hitting coach Dave Magadan. Additionally, the Rockies also announced that the rest of their coaching staff, including manager Bud Black, will return for 2023 with the exception of third base/infield coach Stu Cole, who has been reassigned to a minor league staff position.
This news follows a 2022 campaign in which the Rockies endured plenty of offensive struggles. This season, Colorado ranked 10th in total runs scored of any club in the NL (698) and hit the third fewest home runs of any NL team (139), despite playing in one of MLB’s friendliest hitting environments. These figures represent a significant drop from the Rockies’ outputs in 2021 (739 runs, 182 HR’s). Statcast is not kind to Colorado’s offense either, ranking both their 2022 team Barrel% and average exit velocity as the third lowest in the NL. During the four seasons over which Magadan presided over the Rockies’ offense, Colorado’s runs per game, team batting average, and team slugging percentage have all seen consistent, marked declines.
After a notable sixteen-year playing career, Magadan broke into the big leagues as a coach when he joined the Red Sox as their hitting coach in the fall of 2006. Boston made notable improvements at the plate during Magadan’s first season, increasing their team batting average, on-base, and slugging on their way to their 2007 championship. Magadan would continue on to serve as the Red Sox hitting coach until 2012. He then spent 2013-2015 as the hitting coach of the Rangers and 2016-2018 in the same role with the Diamondbacks before he was hired by the Rockies in December of 2018.
Cole has been apart of the Rockies’ organization since 1995. After managing at Colorado’s High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A affiliates, Cole was finally named to the roster of big league coaches in 2012 as the Rockies’ third base coach. As an infield coach, Cole worked with the infielders of a Rockies defense that committed the fifth most errors in all of baseball in 2022.
Though there will be no further changes to the Rockies coaching staff, Magadan’s exit and Cole’s reassignment signal a desire for some changes in leadership in Colorado. If general manager Bill Schmidt and his staff remain intent on contending in 2023, there will need to be broader changes to the roster over the coming months.