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Turner Ward expected to be named Dodgers hitting coach, per reports

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers haven't yet officially announced any of their coaching staff under new manager Dave Roberts, but one new member will reportedly be Turner Ward as hitting coach, per Buster Olney of ESPN and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

Ward was the hitting coach for the Diamondbacks for the past two seasons as well as assistant hitting coach in 2013. He was offered a contract to return to Arizona in 2016, but Ward never signed it, informing the Diamondbacks in October he would not return, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:

"From what I understand, it’s strictly a baseball decision," Hale said. "He’s still going to be in the game. I think he might have a better opportunity somewhere else."

Hale was asked where he expects Ward to land.

"To be honest with you, I didn’t get into it," Hale said. "When he called, it was a very emotional thing for him. He loves our club and our coaches and team but felt like these opportunities that are presenting themselves are something he wants to explore."

Arizona named Dave Magadan its new hitting coach on Nov. 25.

The 50-year-old Ward also managed Double-A Mobile in the Diamondbacks system in 2011-2012, and also at rookie level and Class-A in the Pirates system in 2006-2007. He also served as hitting coach for Double-A Mobile from 2008-2010.

Ward played in the big leagues for parts of 12 seasons (1990-2001) as an outfielder, hitting .251/.332/.388 in 626 games for the Indians, Blue Jays, Brewers, Pirates, Diamondbacks and Phillies.

Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire left to join the Padres as bench coach, officially announced on Wednesday.

You might remember Ward from the infamous Dodgers-Diamondbacks brawl in June 2013 at Dodger Stadium, when Ward - then the assistant hitting coach in Arizona - was slammed into and over the railing near the photographer well in the visitors dugout by J.P. Howell.

Ward was ejected for his role in the brawl, along with several others. Howell was suspended two games.

Ward lives in Alabama and played collegiate baseball at South Alabama. His son Tucker, one of three children, played baseball at Louisiana Tech and was selected as a pitcher by the D-backs in the 40th round of the 2015 draft.