USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale does the honors:
Davey Lopes will soon be going back to his roots, re-joining the Dodgers as part of manager Don Mattingly’s coaching staff.
As the internet might say, “obvious fit is obvious”. Lopes played over 1200 games for the Dodgers, is known for being one of the best baserunning coaches in the bigs, and voiced his preference to work on the West Coast after parting ways with the Phillies earlier this month.
While it’s nice to have a former Dodger around, his value really is going to come in helping the running game, particularly with Matt Kemp, who was dreadful in 2010. Bill Baer of Phillies blog Crashburn Alley bemoaned the loss, saying:
While in the Minor Leagues, Jimmy Rollins stole bases at a 76 percent rate. In his Major League career prior to Lopes, he stole bases at an 80 percent clip. Under Lopes, that success rate went all the way up to 88 percent. For Victorino, those rates were 72, 69, and 82 percent respectively (though, to be fair, the latter includes all of his time as a regular position player). For Utley, his success rates were 70, 82, and 92 percent. Jayson Werth‘s rates were, 81, 85, and 88 percent. In all cases, the Phillies’ four best base-stealers all improved under Lopes’ tutelage.
Sadly, there is no replacing the wisdom of Davey Lopes and the Phillies’ running game will suffer because of it.
and then adding in the comments:
Lopes was famous for his stop-watch and ability to read/time the pitchers. Maybe that’s something you can teach but I’d put chips on at least a slight drop in base-running aggression and efficiency.
Lopes also managed the Milwaukee Brewers for parts of three seasons from 2000-02, giving Don Mattingly more managerial experience on his staff. Though it still hasn’t been officially announced, that basically sets the Dodger coaching staff for 2011. From what we know, alongside Mattingly will be:
Bench coach – Trey Hillman
1B coach – Davey Lopes
3B coach – Tim Wallach
Hitting coach – Jeff Pentland
Hitting instructor – Dave Hansen
Hitting instructor – Manny Mota
Pitching coach – Rick Honeycutt
Bullpen coach – Ken Howell
Hillman and Lopes have each been major league managers, and Wallach probably ought to be. I have to say, I can’t really find much to argue with about this staff, assuming this is how it ends up. Solid group. (Update: as Eric Stephen at True Blue LA points out, all except for Hillman and Pentland played for the Dodgers at one point. Have to like that.)