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Dodgers coaching staff to return intact in 2017

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (left) and bench coach Bob Geren (right) will be back on Dave Roberts’ coaching staf in 2017.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — After coming within two wins of the franchise’s first World Series in 28 years, the Dodgers entire coaching staff will return intact in 2017, manager Dave Roberts said on Monday at Dodger Stadium.

Seven of the eight Dodgers on the staff were in their first year as Dodgers coaches, including Roberts, with longtime pitching coach Rick Honeycutt the lone holdover from the previous staff.

Bench coach Bob Geren, Honeycutt, hitting coach Turner Ward, first base coach George Lombard, third base coach Chris Woodward, assistant hitting coach Tim Hyers and bullpen coach Josh Bard all helped Roberts in his first year as manager.

"For the coaches to come together, in the first year for a lot of us to be together, I thought the work ethic, the eagerness to teach, the energy was consistent all year long,” Roberts said. “After a first year of us trying to get to know one another, for them to connect with the players which is the most important thing, we did that. I'm excited for year two.”

The Dodgers won a fourth consecutive division title in 2016 despite putting 28 different players on the disabled list. The club also had 13 rookies, including Corey Seager, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling, Trayce Thompson and others playing major roles on the team.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman credited the atmosphere created by the coaching staff and everybody being on the same page for the latter.

"A great byproduct of the cultural change and shift that we saw on the major league side with Doc and his coaches was to be able to provide that soft landing spot,” Friedman explained. ”That environment where guys could come up and thrive and not be afraid to compete, and were put in positions to succeed.

“It could not have worked out any better this year, and I think that's a cultural environment that's going to continue and grow off of itself and be furthered. That part is critical. If you don't have that environmental piece, it's really difficult on a contending team to bring young players up and expect to continue to contend and get the most out of them.”

Roberts on Monday was named 2016 Sporting News Manager of the Year, voted on by fellow managers, and is expected to be a top contender for the BBWAA award in three weeks.

"To get recognized is a great honor, but something for me that is a team award. I can't tell you how much support I've gotten in the first year,” Roberts said. “The title says manager of the year, but it's a team and organization award for me.”

In addition to the organization being seemingly on the same page, from the front office through the coaching staff, the ancillary benefit of the staff returning is more time to focus on roster moves this offseason.

Last year, Roberts was officially hired on Nov. 22, with his coaching staff announced on Dec. 17.