With the question marks surrounding Oakland, it’s comforting to see the Oakland A’s coaching staff set for the 2023 season. When their season ended with a last place finish, changes were certainly expected across for players and staff, so let’s take a look at the big shifts.
Keeping it in the family for the staff
It was key for A’s manager, Mark Kotsay, to find a bench coach to breath some life into the clubhouse. That job is for Darren Bush, former A’s third base and run prevention coach.
Following his major league career, Bush managed in the Western Baseball League and Northeast league (independent leagues in the early 2000s). He came over to the A’s minor league system where he led the Stockton Ports to the 2008 California League Championship. Eventually, he worked his way to Class AAA and led the Sacramento River Cats to back-to-back division titles.
To be honest, I love this. Moving Bush to bench coach after his experience within the A’s farm system will allow him to connect with players on a deeper level – especially guys who have also come up through the system. It gives the fans hope that the team has not completely given up on key people in the organization who understand the grind over the last few years.
A new name in the bullpen
The A’s have gone with Mike McCarthy as their new bullpen coach. Last season, the A’s bullpen defied expectations early on in the season but lost that spark by the end. McCarthy comes from the Padres after a stint as pitching coach for the Triple-A El Paso team. He also previously coached for the Twins organization, which adds valuable experience from other teams – something the A’s will need. With prior pitching experience in the big leagues, McCarthy will likely be a good choice to keep the bullpen options healthy, maybe employing strategies from his former teams.
Familiar faces for the pitching and hitting
Scott Emerson returns as pitching coach. Yes, we know the troubles of the pitching staff. I’m not going to remind you. But with the addition of two new assistant athletic trainers – Brad LaRosa and Elliot Diehl – the pitchers may have a better chance of preventing injury. It may fall on these new trainers to understand the mechanics of the staff and work with Emerson to keep key guys healthy the whole season. And hitting remains the same with Tommy Everidge and Chris Cron staying on the staff.
Change is a good thing, especially with the Oakland A’s right now. Hopefully, the team use these new additions to improve for 2023.