06/26/12 4:41 PM ET
Dodgers hire Hatcher as special assistant to GM
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Hatcher, 57, will devote time to helping with player development as well as assisting the Major League staff.
"It's a great feeling being a Dodger again; it feels like I've come back home," said Hatcher. "This is where my roots were and where I was taught everything about the game and where I learned about professionalism. I'm excited about the opportunity to meet everyone in the organization and about the energy created by the new ownership. I couldn't be happier right now."
The Dodgers are in the throes of a serious hitting slump, in which the club has had no more than five hits in five of the last seven games entering Tuesday. But manager Don Mattingly said Hatcher is not being brought in to assist hitting coach Dave Hansen, who took over for Jeff Pentland after last year's All-Star break.
"I haven't thought of that," Mattingly said about bringing Hatcher in as a second hitting coach. "I didn't know he was hired until today. In the plan for him, I didn't hear anything about him being a second guy."
Hatcher was dismissed by the Angels on May 15. As a 12-year Major League player, Hatcher spent two stints with the Dodgers, including a heroic fill-in role on the 1988 championship team when he hit .368 (7-for-19) with two homers, five RBIs and five runs scored in five games.
The Angels replaced Hatcher with Triple-A hitting coach Jim Eppard when the club ranked 27th in the Major Leagues in runs per game. At the time, new acquisition Albert Pujols was hitting .212. He's since caught fire, as have the Angels.
"He'll certainly be an asset to that organization," said Angels manager Mike Scoiscia. "I think his knowledge, his enthusiasm, is something that will be very strong for the Dodgers, and I'm sure he's excited about it."
Hatcher was in his 13th season as hitting coach for former teammate Scioscia. Following his playing career, Hatcher coached and managed in the Dodgers organization for Albuquerque (1991-92), Great Falls (1995-97) and San Bernardino (1998). He also spent time as the Texas Rangers' first-base coach (1993-94).
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.