Diamondbacks Fill Coaching Vacancies with Familiar Faces

Jeff SummersCorrespondent INovember 11, 2009

PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 23:  Mark Reynolds #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats during the major league baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on September 23, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Since the season ended, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been searching for two candidates that would fill the coaching vacancies on the Major League Baseball staff. Diamondbacks manager AJ Hinch suggested he hoped to fill these spots by the first week in November.

While Nov. 11 is not technically the first week of the month it is fairly close. The Diamondbacks announced today that they had filled these positions and agreed to a 2010 contract with bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock who has been a coach with the organization since the inaugural season in 1998.

Both of the candidates chosen have a long history with Hinch and one is a familiar face to Diamondbacks fans. Former Arizona third baseman Matt Williams has been hired to be the first base coach. He will also be responsible for working with the infielders.

DIAMONDBACKS SPRING BASEBALL Since retiring, Williams has held several positions with the Diamondbacks. He has been a special assistant to CEO/President Derrick Hall carrying out several duties in the community on behalf of the team. His coaching experience includes managing the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears after Brett Butler suffered a stroke.

During his tenure in Mobile, Williams had an opportunity to work with several of the young players who are now on the major league roster. Williams has also worked with third baseman Mark Reynolds last offseason, which both men attribute to the reduction in errors that Reynolds had in 2009.

Williams will have has work cut out for him as the Diamondbacks struggled defensively this past season. During his playing time Williams was noted as being a quiet leader who would not allow teammates step out of line. Hopefully he will instill this same outlook on the current Diamondbacks.

Marlins Astros Baseball The third-base coaching job went to Marquis Donnell β€œBo” Porter. Porter has spent the past three years coaching in the Florida Marlins organization as their third base coach. Porter is one of the hot commodities in the coaching ranks. The Marlins offered him a contract in 2010 but he declined.

Porter was to manager the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League this season but after declining the Marlins job he went searching for other opportunities. Porter and Hinch are no strangers. Both men played for the Oakland Athletics in 2000. Porter was with the Marlins while assistant to CEO Luis Gonzalez was playing in Florida. Gonzalez provided input to the decision as well.

Besides third base duties Porter will also work with the Diamondbacks outfielders. Porter has been instrumental in helping the Marlins young outfielders the past three years and comes highly regarded throughout baseball. Porter also coached base running with the Marlins and will assist Diamondbacks bench coach Kirk Gibson with those duties.

With Gibson, Porter, Williams, and Sherlock expect the Diamondbacks to focus on fundamental baseball and on the mental aspects of the game. These are areas where Arizona struggled this past season. Hopefully the coaching staff will be able to get the Diamondbacks to overcome the mental errors that plagued the team in 2009.

For the rest of the offseason not only will Porter and Williams be preparing for their first spring training of coaching with the Diamondbacks but they will need to devise a plan where they can get their uniform numbers. Porter lucked out with the Diamondbacks optioning outfielder Trent Oeltjen to Triple-A Reno freeing up No. 16. Williams has a bigger obstacle with left fielder Gerardo Parra currently wearing number nine.

Personally, I am putting my money on Sarge and look to see Parra sporting a new number come February.


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